Apple surpasses Samsung as top smartphone seller worldwide


Apple has cemented its position as the world’s leading smartphone seller, unseating Samsung after 12 consecutive years of leading the industry.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), iPhone sales reached 234.6 million units in 2023, surpassing Samsung’s 226.6 million units to take the top spot.

The shift in leadership is attributed to various trends, particularly the growing popularity of high-end devices, which now account for more than 20% of the market. The release of iPhone 15 in September played a key role in Apple’s rise.

“The last time a company named Samsung didn’t lead the smartphone market was in 2010, and in 2023, it’s Apple,” IDC said, highlighting a major shift in dynamics in the largest consumer electronics market.

The $2.8 trillion U.S. tech giant’s 20.1% market share surpassed Samsung’s 19.4% market share, marking the first time Apple has led the market in sales. Although Apple has long been considered the top smartphone maker by revenue and profit, this achievement underscores its dominance in terms of absolute sales.

IDC’s data, released ahead of the launch of Samsung’s latest models, reveals the psychological toll the South Korean tech giant has taken. However, analysts including CCS Insight’s Ben Wood expect a fierce competition in 2024.

Wood noted that Apple’s strong growth trajectory and consumer loyalty to its devices suggest that once users adopt Apple products, they are unlikely to easily switch to another brand.

IDC also highlighted the increasing fragmentation of the Android smartphone market, noting the rise of low-end Samsung rivals such as Transsion and Xiaomi, as well as other rivals such as Honor and Google.

The success of Huawei’s products in China has led to a decline in Samsung’s sales, but Huawei remains a competitor to Apple, especially in China, Apple’s largest market.

Global smartphone shipments fell 3.2% to 1.17 billion units in 2023, according to IDC. However, the group expressed optimism, saying growth in the second half of the year underpinned an expected recovery in 2024.

In another development last week, Apple ceded the title of the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft, which has a market capitalization of $2.9 trillion.

The technology industry continues to witness dynamic changes in leadership and market dynamics, keeping consumers and competitors on their toes

Anurag is a writer at GizmoInsiders with a knack for storytelling and a love for tech, he keeps you in the loop with the latest gadgets and trends.

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