Apple Dethrones Samsung as the Global Top Smartphone Seller in 2023


Nobody in South Korea would have dreamed of this: Apple actually ousted Samsung from first place in global smartphone sales in 2023, according to the first figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC). This is the second time for Samsung, after they were briefly ousted from first place by Huawei.

New king of the hill

Okay, the figures are only provisional, but official nonetheless. Apple is the new number one in terms of smartphones sold worldwide. At least that’s what the IDC headline on X (formerly Twitter) says: “Apple moves ahead of Samsung to become number one in the global market”. And if you look at the preliminary figures for 2023, Apple is the only manufacturer to actually record growth, contrary to the generally shrinking trend (-3.2%).

Infographic showing the companies who sold the most smartphones in 2023
Apple secures the top spot in 2023 with a record-breaking market share. / © IDC

Apple achieved a market share of 20.1 percent in 2023, compared to Samsung, which reached 19.4 percent. That is a loss of 2.3 points in market share from 2022 to 2023. This is bad news that Samsung probably didn’t need the day before the big presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.

But further pressure is coming from China! None other than Xiaomi, in third place, is closing in on Samsung. The company will presumably present its first e-car, the Xiaomi SU7, at the MWC at the end of February, thus increasing its level of awareness and general acceptance.

“The general shift in the ranking at the top of the market further emphasizes the intensity of competition in the smartphone market. Apple has certainly contributed to Samsung’s descent, but the entire Android sector is diversifying into itself. Huawei is back and making fast inroads in China, brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Honor and others are launching very competitive devices at the lower end,” said Ryan Reith, Group Vice President at IDC.

So let’s see to what extent Samsung can turn the tide tomorrow. After all, the South Koreans want to enter the AI business tomorrow with Galaxy AI. This is an area that Apple has not yet seriously tackled, apart from its own chip design. In Cupertino, they are more concerned with the VR-XR entry with the Apple Vision Pro headset.

And what do you think of the surprising overtaking maneuver from Cupertino? The typical short-term lead or something more long-term? Let us know what you think in the comments below.





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