Whoa — Apple sold more phones than Samsung in 2023!

This is big news.

Apple Samsung world top smartphone market share 2023
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For 12 years straight, Samsung has been the world’s top smartphone seller. But no more. According to IDC’s latest report, Apple has overtaken Samsung to win the smartphone market in 2023. And in this article, we’ll be discussing the overall trend of the smartphone market share in 2023, including what’s going on with Apple and Samsung.

A quick overview of the smartphone market share in 2023

Yearly shipments and market shares

IDC estimates that Apple shipped a total of 234.6 million smartphones in 2023, claiming a 20.1% market share. This is a 3.7% growth compared to Apple’s 2022 shipment, while Samsung saw a steep 13.6% decline instead. Managing only 226.6 million units in 2023.

Smartphone market share 2023

Like Samsung, the third and fourth spot occupants — Xiaomi and OPPO — also had negative growth in 2023. Xiaomi shipped 145.9 million phones to capture 12.5% of the market, while OPPO managed 103.1 million units for an 8.8% market share. And besides Apple, only Transsion Holdings (which includes Itel, Infinix, and Tecno) was able to hit a positive circuit with a tremendous 30.8% year-over-year growth.

Fourth quarter performance

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Apple continued its dominance with 80.5 million shipments, commanding 24.7% of the market. Samsung followed with 53 million units (16.3% market share), and Xiaomi secured 12.5% of the pie with 40.7 million units. Transsion Holdings and Vivo claimed the fourth and fifth positions, with 68.6% and 5.1% growth respectively compared to Q4 2022.

But the global smartphone market is still on a decline

While Apple and Transsion Holdings have plenty of reasons to celebrate, the global smartphone market saw a 3.34% decline in 2023 in terms of units shipped.

Best upper midrange phones in 2023

The decline, attributed to macroeconomic challenges and early-year inventory issues, resulted in the lowest full-year volume in a decade. However, the latter half of the year witnessed a positive shift, with the fourth quarter showing an 8.5% year-over-year growth, exceeding the forecast of 7.3%.

Samsung and the Android smartphone space

While Apple’s rise impacted Samsung’s market positioning, the Android space is hotter than ever. Huawei‘s resurgence in China, coupled with competitive offerings from brands like OnePlus, Honor, Google, and others, has added complexity to the smartphone market. Foldable devices and discussions around AI capabilities are also gaining traction, making the overall landscape of the smartphone industry intriguing.

What now?

The rise of Apple’s market dominance can be traced to its ever-present popularity in the Western market. Whereas in recent years, iPhones have exploded in terms of adaptability in low-income countries like India as well because of a couple of reasons. Like the social status that comes with owning an iPhone and all the financing options available. Only time will tell if Apple can continue its momentum in 2024 or if will Samsung retake its crown once again.