Apple beats Samsung, claims top spot in global smartphone sales

  • Apple secures 20% market share, marking the end of Samsung’s 12-year reign.
  • Despite a 10-year low in the smartphone market at 1.17 billion units, Apple’s 3.7% increase in iPhone shipments contrasts with Samsung’s 13.6% decline, highlighting market dynamics.
  • Challenges in China’s competitive market prompt Apple to offer discounts, while Microsoft overtaking as the most valuable public company reflects growing concerns about iPhone demand and high-end gadgets.

According to a report from International Data Corp., Apple has dethroned Samsung as the world’s leading smartphone seller, securing a 20% market share in 2023. Samsung ended the year with a 19.4% share.

Samsung’s 12-year reign at the top ends

Sales of the entire smartphone market fell to a 10-year low of 1.17 billion units as consumers, grappling with economic uncertainties and high inflation, opted for more affordable handset choices. Meanwhile the world’s largest cell phone market, China, is recovering slower than expected.

Despite this, Apple and Transsion emerged as the sole top five vendors experiencing sales growth. The dynamics of the market saw low-end Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi gaining ground, particularly in emerging markets.

Apple’s success was underscored by a 3.7% increase in iPhone shipments, a stark contrast to Samsung’s 13.6% decline. Samsung’s strategic focus on the mid- to high-end segment for profitability resulted in a loss of share in the low-end market.

Also read: Apple offers iPhone 15 discount in China as smartphone competition increases

Apple faces challenges in China, Microsoft overtakes as most valuable public company

While Apple celebrates its global triumph, challenges loom in China’s competitive market. The tech giant is encountering strong competition from a resurgent Huawei and budget Chinese brands.

To counter this, Apple is offering discounts of up to 5% on selected models in an effort to attract customers in the highly competitive Chinese landscape.

In a related development, Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable public company. Wall Street’s growing concerns about iPhone demand and the overall performance of high-end gadgets have contributed to this shift.

The tech industry is witnessing intense competition and evolving market dynamics, shaping the future trajectory of major players.

Also read: Apple’s Vision Pro: 3D Disney magic & guest mode unveiled

Is the Apple-Samsung battle a marketing ploy or an innovation?

In a critique, an X user unveils the perceived marketing strategies behind the Apple-Samsung rivalry, portraying it as a scheme to prompt frequent smartphone upgrades. “And let’s not forget that the battle between Apple and Samsung is really just a marketing ploy to convince people that they need to upgrade their phones every year. Because nothing says “innovation” like releasing a slightly improved version of the same product year after year. #SoInnovative #NotReally.”

The commentary questions the essence of innovation, highlighting the incremental nature of product releases. The use of hashtags like #SoInnovative and #NotReally adds a touch of sarcasm, expressing skepticism about significant advancements. The mention of social media debates underscores the divisive discussions fueled by this tech giant competition, raising concerns about the value proposition of high-end smartphones amidst incremental upgrades.


Elma Yuan

Elma Yuan was a junior reporter at BTW media interested in media and communication.

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