Updated February 24th, 2024 at 16:43 IST

Apple emerges as top smartphone maker in 2023, overtaking Samsung

This milestone for Apple comes amid a challenging year for the smartphone industry, marked by a 3.2% decline in overall device shipments to 1.17 billion units.

Reported by: Business Desk
Samsung vs Apple smartphone sales | Image:Unsplash
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Samsung vs Apple smartphone sales: Apple has secured the top position as the world's leading smartphone maker in 2023, surpassing Samsung for the first time in over a decade. According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple's iPhone shipments reached 234.6 million units, edging ahead of Samsung's 226.6 million units.

This milestone for Apple comes amid a challenging year for the smartphone industry, marked by a 3.2 per cent decline in overall device shipments to 1.17 billion units. Despite the market's downturn, Apple emerged as the sole major handset maker to achieve annual unit growth, with shipments rising by 3.7 per cent.

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Image: Reuters

The shift in market leadership reflects broader trends favoring high-end smartphones, which now constitute over 20 per cent of the market. Apple's success can be attributed to its strong performance in this segment, driven by factors such as aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans.

Nabila Popal, research director at IDC's Worldwide Tracker team, highlighted Apple's resilience and ongoing success in the face of regulatory challenges and intensified competition. She noted that Apple's ability to capture the top spot underscores the increasing preference for premium devices among consumers.

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Meanwhile, Samsung faced a decline in shipments, with a 13.6 per cent drop recorded in 2023. While the company has focused on the mid- to high-end segment for profitability, it experienced challenges in the low-end segment, leading to a loss of market share.

The resurgence of Huawei in China and the emergence of budget Chinese brands have added to the competitive pressures faced by Apple. To maintain its position in key markets, including China, Apple has introduced discounts of up to 5 per cent on certain models to attract customers.

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Overall, the smartphone market is undergoing significant shifts, characterised by increased competition, diversification within the Android space, and growing interest in features such as foldables and AI capabilities.

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Published February 24th, 2024 at 16:43 IST