Apple beats out Samsung in the global smartphone market for the first time in over a decade, making the iPhone number one in sales over the Samsung Galaxy in 2023.
The battle between the two rival smartphone makers has done an about face for the first time since 2010.
Not only has Apple slid into the top spot in the global smartphone marketplace, but the company also hit its own all-time high of market growth in 2023, according to preliminary data from the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker by global marketing firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
Global smartphone sales have been down the past few years overall, but the iPhone maker’s positive growth over the past year has swung the entire industry in an upward trajectory, IDC said.
“Apple's ongoing success and resilience is in large part due to the increasing trend of premium devices, which now represent over 20% of the market, fueled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans," said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC's Worldwide Tracker team.
The diversification of the Android market is said to be a major factor in the 2023 ranking change, with brands like Huawei, Google, OnePlus, and Honor gaining traction, especially in China, one of the largest smartphone markets.
IDC VP Ryan Reith said the unprecedented shift only highlights “the intensity of competition within the smartphone market."
Lower prices for higher end devices, innovative re-designs, such as foldable phones, and the integration of AI capabilities have all played a part in boosting the entire market, Reith said.
According to the statistics, elevated inventory made a sluggish start to the first half of 2023 with a 3.2% decline in shipments, while Q4 2023 saw an 8.5% increase, which will lead to an expected recovery for 2024.
Overall, Apple saw an increased growth of 3.7% in 2023 from the previous year, while Samsung saw a -13.6% decline in growth since 2022.
The Chinese manufactured smartphone Xiaomi cemented itself in third place of the 2023 global market share (unchanged from 2022) representing just over 12% of market behind Apple’s 20.1% and Samsung’s 19.4%.
Overall, the smartphone space is headed towards a very interesting time," Reith said.
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