Apple beats Samsung for the first time since 2010, tops global smartphone shipments

Apple beats Samsung for the first time since 2010, tops global smartphone shipments
The iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 UltraApple/Samsung
  • Apple has become the biggest smartphone maker for the first time, beating Samsung.
  • Samsung has held the top smartphone maker position since 2010.
  • According to data from IDC, there has been a 3.2% year-on-year decline in smartphone shipments globally.
Cupertino based tech giant Apple has beaten Samsung for the first time to become the top smartphone maker in the world. This is the first time since 2010 that Apple has sold more smartphones than the Korean smartphone maker in a year globally.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Apple has emerged as the top smartphone maker in the world for the first time. This comes amid a global decline in smartphone sales. The global smartphone sales reported a 3.2% year-on-year decline in 2023 to 1.17 billion units, which is the lowest full-year volume in a decade.

Apple grows while Samsung declines

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Company2023 shipments2023 market share2022 shipments2022 market shareChange
Apple234.6 million20.10%226.3 million18.80%3.70%
Samsung226.6 million19.40%262.2 million21.70%-13.60%
Xiaomi145.9 million12.50%153.2 million12.70%-4.70%
OPPO103.1 million8.80%114.4 million9.50%-9.90%
Transsion94.9 million8.10%72.6 million6.00%30.80%

Apple has sold a total of 234.6 million smartphones in 2023, up from 226.3 million smartphones sold in 2022, an increase of 8.3 million devices and a growth of 3.7%. Apple is the only company in the top three to record growth in 2023.

Apple has also increased its market share from 18.8% in 2022 to 20.1% in 2023.

“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,” said Nabila Popal, research director, Worldwide Tracker team, IDC.

Coming to Samsung, the Korean smartphone maker’s shipments have declined from 262.2 million in 2022 to 226.6 million in 2023, registering a 13.6% decline. With this, the company’s market share has declined from 21.7% in 2022 to 19.4 % in 2023.

It’s not just Apple that is eating Samsung’s market share. The smartphone giant is facing tough competition from its Android rivals, including Google, OnePlus and Huawei, among others.

“Apple certainly played a part in Samsung's drop in rank, but the overall Android space is diversifying within itself. Huawei is back and making inroads quickly within China, Brands like OnePlus, Honor, Google, and others are launching very competitive devices in the lower price range of the high end,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president, Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, IDC.

Demand for premium smartphones boosts Apple’s sales


According to IDC, the increase in demand for premium smartphones across the country has helped boost Apple’s smartphone sales. The premium segment now accounts for over 20% of overall smartphone shipments in the world.

Xiaomi and Oppo decline

Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Oppo, which occupy the third and fourth positions at present, have reported a decline in sales in 2023.

Xiaomi shipped 145.9 million devices in 2023, down from 153.2 million devices in 2022, a decline of 4.7%. The company’s market share also declined from 12.7% in 2022 to 12.5% in 2023.

Oppo on the other hand shipped 103.1 million devices in 2023, down from 114,4 million devices in 2022, a decline of 9.9%. With this, the company’s market share also declined from 9.5% in 2022 to 8.8%.

Transsion records good growth

Chinese smartphone maker Transsion, which makes smartphones under the Tecno, Itel and Infinix brands, recorded a good growth in 2023. The company shipped 94.9 million devices in 2023, up from 72.6 million devices in 2022, recording a 30.8% growth. The company is closing the gap between itself and Oppo for the fourth position.


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