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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 13:50 IST

Apple beats Samsung to become the best-selling smartphone series in 2023

Despite a lukewarm reception for the iPhone 15 in China, its largest international market, Apple leveraged aggressive offers to attract consumers.

Business Desk
Apple iPhone
Apple iPhone | Image:Unsplash
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Apple gains top spot: Apple Inc.'s iPhone series surpassed Samsung devices to claim the title of the best-selling smartphone series in 2023, making it the first time since 2010 that Samsung has not held the top spot. According to estimates by research firm IDC, the iPhone captured 20 per cent of the global market with nearly 235 million shipments last year, outpacing Samsung's shipments, which experienced a double-digit decline, totalling 226.6 million.

This win for Apple extends beyond its traditional dominance in the holiday quarter, signalling its ability to weather an industrywide downturn better than its competitors. Despite a lukewarm reception for the iPhone 15 in China, its largest international market, Apple leveraged aggressive offers to attract consumers towards premium devices, contributing to the overall increase in shipments.

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IDC research director Nabila Popal noted that while low-end Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi saw strong growth in emerging markets in the second half of 2023, Apple emerged as the clear winner. Popal underlined Apple's success amidst increased regulatory challenges and resurging competition from Huawei in China, attributing it to the growing trend of premium devices, which now constitute over 20 per cent of the market.

The upward shift in smartphone pricing is attributed to enticing trade-in offers and interest-free financing, with Apple being the sole player among the global top three to register growth at 3.7 per cent. Despite facing a broader industry decline, Apple's resilience is evident, even in China, where sales of the latest iPhone have decreased compared to its predecessor.

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Challenges in the Chinese market include competition from local tech giant Huawei, which regained market share with the Mate 60 Pro smartphone featuring an advanced made-in-China processor. In response to the evolving landscape, Apple introduced rare discounts of up to 5 per cent per handset on the iPhone in China, aiming to mitigate further sales erosion.

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 13:50 IST

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