Apple tops Samsung for first time in global smartphone shipments

Apple Secures Top Spot in Annual Smartphone Shipments, Overtaking Samsung

In a historic turn of events, Apple has surpassed Samsung to become the leading smartphone shipper for the first time in a year, as reported by IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Although IDC emphasizes that the data is preliminary, a second research agency, Canalys, also confirms Apple’s top position for the entirety of 2023. According to IDC, Apple’s total mobile shipments stand at 234.6 million, outpacing Samsung’s 226.6 million. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Transsion follow in the top five with 145.9 million, 103.1 million, and 94.9 million smartphones shipped, respectively.

IDC highlights that Samsung hasn’t relinquished the annual top spot in 13 years since 2010. In that year, Nokia led the chart, followed by Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE, and Research in Motion (manufacturers of BlackBerry devices). The shift underscores the dynamic nature of the smartphone industry over the past decade.

While Apple played a crucial role in displacing Samsung, it faced stiff competition from other Android manufacturers such as Huawei, OnePlus, Honor, and Google. Canalys suggests that Huawei’s “improving strength” could pose a challenge to Apple’s growth in the Chinese market. Reports from last year indicated that Huawei had overcome US sanctions to incorporate an advanced 7nm processor into its Mate 60 Pro smartphone.

Despite an overall 3.2 percent decline in smartphone shipments in 2023 compared to 2022, signs of recovery emerge in the market. IDC reports an 8.5 percent year-on-year growth in shipments in the fourth quarter, while Canalys indicates an 8 percent growth, breaking a streak of seven consecutive quarters of decline.

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