Tech

Apple tops Samsung in global smartphone shipments for first time ever

In 2023, Apple's total mobile shipments globally reached 234.6 million, while Samsung's shipments for the year were 226.6 million.

People in an Apple Store in Beijing.
People in an Apple Store in Beijing.
Andy Wong / AP
SMS

Apple has taken the lead as the world's top smartphone supplier, surpassing Samsung.

According to early data from the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Apple became the world's largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of volume, breaking Samsung's 13-year streak.

In 2023, Apple's total mobile shipments reached 234.6 million, while Samsung's shipments for the year were 226.6 million, IDC reported.

"While we saw some strong growth from low-end Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi in the second half of 2023, stemming from rapid growth in emerging markets, the biggest winner is clearly Apple," said research director with IDC's Worldwide Tracker team, Nabila Popal, in a press release. "Not only is Apple the only player in the Top 3 to show positive growth annually, but also bags the number 1 spot annually for the first time ever. All this despite facing increased regulatory challenges and renewed competition from Huawei in China, its largest market."

IDC reports that Samsung hasn't held the second position in annual shipments since 2010. At that time, Nokia led, with Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE, and Research in Motion (the makers of BlackBerry) following. In 2010, Apple wasn't even in the top five, with the iPhone having been released just three years earlier in 2007.

According to Popal, Apple keeps succeeding because more people are buying premium devices, which now make up over 20% of the market, and more people are buying because good trade-in deals and payment plans with no interest help with purchases.

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