Apple ends Samsung’s 12-year dominance to emerge smartphone market leader

Apple ends Samsung’s 12-year dominance to emerge smartphone market leader

Ghazali Ibrahim

For the first time in over a decade, Apple has overtaken Samsung as the world’s top smartphone maker by volume in 2023.

According to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC), a market intelligence provider, the iPhone manufacturer recorded a total of 234.6 million shipments last year to edge ahead of Samsung’s 226.6 million.

That upsurge from Apple came in a year that was the worst in a decade for the smartphone market, with device shipments falling 3.2 percent to 1.17 billion units, according to IDC.

“Not only is Apple the only player in the Top 3 to show positive growth annually, but also bags the number 1 spot annually for the first time,” Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team said in a statement.

Apple’s 20 percent market share was fueled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans, IDC said in a statement.

Apple has long been the top smartphone maker thanks to the iPhone’s dominance in the high end of the market. But last year was the first in which it also led by volume.

Notably, Apple lost its position as the world’s most valuable public company to its old rival Microsoft, as Wall Street fretted about the outlook for iPhone sales in China.

Apple’s iPhone sales, however, rebounded 11.6 per cent in the fourth quarter following the September launch of its latest models, according to IDC figures.

The ratings of the smartphone market had changed beyond recognition since Samsung took the top spot in 2011, when Nokia, LG and BlackBerry led the market.


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