Apple Stands Alone in Global Smartphone Sales

William Calabrese
Staff Writer

Samsung v. Apple (Photo courtesy of CNBC)

At the end of Q4 2023, it was announced that Apple topped both Samsung and Google in global smartphone sales, shipping around 234.6 million smartphones worldwide in all of 2023. This marks the first time the Cupertino-based company has led the global market in unit smartphone sales, with the top spot previously being held by Samsung. Apple showed major market growth and improvement for all of 2023, capturing a global market share of 20.1% and 72.1 million shipments of iPhones worldwide in Q4 alone.

This would be the first time in the history of smartphones that Apple has taken the top spot in global smartphone sales, with the top spot previously being held by companies such as Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola. The results from the company’s 4th quarter earnings state that under 3 in 10 smartphone users across the world currently have an iPhone. At the end of 2023, the top 5 smartphone companies produced globally were:

Samsung v. Apple (Photo courtesy of CNBC)

– Apple, with 234.6 million smartphones shipped.

– Samsung, with 226.6 million smartphones shipped.

– Xiaomi, with 145.9 million smartphones shipped.

– OPPO, with 103.1 million smartphones shipped.

– Transsion, with 94.9 million smartphones shipped.

One of the main reasons for Apple’s rise to the top of the smartphone sales market is a general decrease in the smartphone market itself. With the ongoing problem of rising inflation, geopolitical problems, and high interest rates, smartphone shipments fell 3.2% to under 1.2 billion units in 2023, the smallest it has ever shrunk in a decade, per the International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple’s competitors felt this shrinking, with Samsung’s smartphone sales decreasing 13.6%, Xiaomi’s dropping 4.7%, and Transsion’s, a newer phone company, falling 9.9%. Even with this substantial drop in sales, Apple prospered this year, growing 3.7% this year and overall dominating their competitors.

With this shakeup in the smartphone market, other companies are starting to gameplan 2024 and 2025 to strengthen competition with Apple. Samsung is predicting that there will be an uptick in sales and overall growth for the company and their higher-end smartphones. On the other hand, Apple has started to ramp up production on both their iPhones and their newer products. One of Apple’s most recently released products, their Vision Pro Augmented Reality headsets, has already sold around 200,000 headsets as of Early February 2024. As the smartphone market competition kicks off in 2024, the question on everyone’s mind is: will Apple keep the top spot?


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