Apple becomes the world number one in smartphones and dethrones Samsung

Apple becomes the world number one in smartphones and dethrones Samsung

This has not happened since 2010: according to the IDC firm, the Korean Samsung lost the title of leading global smartphone manufacturer in volume in 2023, and has now taken over, and for the first time, Apple. It would thus have been distributed over the period 234 million iPhones, or 20.1% of the global market, when Samsung would have only exceeded 226 million devices (− 13.6%) for 19.4% of market parts. The dominance of Korean had recently been challenged only very limited by the Chinese Huawei, in 2020, only for one quarter.

Far behind Apple and Samsung, Xiaomi completes the podium of the largest global players in the sector (nearly 146 million pieces, 12.7% market share). In a declining market (− 3.2% compared to 2022), the apple brand nevertheless managed to progress (+ 3.7%), unlike its main competitors, starting with Samsung (− 13.6%). ). A new player joins the competition, the Chinese Transsion which, with notable growth of nearly 31%, particularly well established in African markets, is positioned fifth in the world, behind Oppo. Its breakthrough on low-end models could have undermined Samsung’s market parts, because, estimates the Canalys firm, “Samsung focused in 2023 on the mid- and high-end segments, but lost parts on the low end”.

The Californian firm is defying the laws of a sluggish market, whose deliveries in 2023 were the lowest in ten years (nearly 1.2 billion units). And yet, unlike its rivals, it has not demonstrated major innovation, not giving in, for example, to the fashion for folding phones, which many have hoped could revive sales. Apple is sticking to its bases: offering a high-end offering (entry price, 969 euros for the iPhone 15), while the market is fragmenting on low- and mid-range devices.

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Another lesson is the strong comeback of Huawei in China. Hit by American sanctions, which notably prevented it from accessing Google’s suite of services (Gmail, Maps, YouTube, etc.) and the latest generations of chips, the Shenzhen giant is making a comeback. In the latest quarterly report devoted to the Chinese market by Counterpoint, dated October 26, 2023, Huawei only takes 11% market share by volume in China but with growth of 41%.

Rebound in 2024

According to IDC, the market for high-end smartphones – whose price exceeds 800 dollars (730 euros) – now exceeds 20% of market parts. Counterpoint estimates that in 2023 Apple has crushed the premium device market, with 71% market share, down however compared to 2022 (75% market share).

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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