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International Business Times UK
International Business Times UK
Danielle Summer

Apple Replaces Samsung As Worlds Biggest Smartphone Brand

Even Apple was unable to escape questions during earnings season about its AI plans in 2023. (Credit: AFP News)

Technology giant Apple has overtaken Samsung as the world's most popular phone maker after it accounted for more than 20 per cent of phones shipped to customers last year.

According to official data published by the International Data Corporation, Samsung fell behind as sales measured at a close 19.4 per cent of the market share.

The International Data Corporation went on to reveal that Apple's total mobile shipments in 2023, measured at 234.6 million. Samsung however, sold 226.6 million phones last year.

The Apple iPhone 14 was named the most-sold phone in the world, with sales measuring at 16.5 million in the first half of 2023 alone.

Last year, the shipments of Samsung's most popular device, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, were measured at 9.6 million.

Xiaomi, OPPO and Transsion, mobile brands located in China, were also in the running for the world's biggest phone maker title.

Listed in the top five, Xiaomi shipped 145.9 smartphones, OPPO sold 103.1 devices and Transsion sent 94.9 mobiles, respectively.

According to Nabila Popal, a Research Director working on the International Data Corporation's Worldwide Tracker Team, "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".

The Research Director highlighted Apple's achievement, stating: "All this despite facing increased regulatory challenges and renewed competition from Huawei in China, its largest market."

"Apple's ongoing success and resilience is in large part due to the increasing trend of premium devices, which now represent over 20% of the market, fuelled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans," Popal continued.

While Apple entered the new year in victory, data shows that the overall number of smartphone shipments in 2023, compared to that of 2022, had declined by 3.2 per cent.

Responding to the concerns regarding a smartphone market slump, the International Data Corporation reported that shipments increased by 8.5 per cent each year in the fourth quarter.

Several other experts have reassured that the tech market is expected to recover this year as it enters a "very interesting time", according to the International Data Corporation.

Samsung was not only threatened by Apple shipments last year, but the former smartphone leader was also tested by other Android manufacturers including Huawei, OnePlus, Honor, and Google.

In 2023, Google successfully shipped 1.2 million Google Pixel devices. The mass sales marked an impressive performance from the famous brand in a highly volatile smartphone market.

Huawei Technologies also increased in popularity last year, reflected in its 9 per cent revenue growth, threatening Apple's future success in the Chinese market.

Despite being banned from buying US-made chips, the Chinese smartphone lion generated more than 7000 billion yuan, equal to $98.7 billion, and saw more than 580 million active users throughout 2023.

In response to the chip banning, based on claims that accuse the company of being a national security risk to Washington, Huawei has made milestones in creating its own chips.

The smartphone market is set to become more competitive in 2024, with brand shipments expected to fall into even closer margins than last year.

Already focusing on expansion in the new year, the Rotating Chairman of Huawei Technologies, Ken Hu, told reporters: "Our device business needs to double down on its commitment to developing best-in-class products and building a high-end brand with a human touch."

In a letter, Hu continued to note that while "technology restrictions and trade barriers continue to have an impact on the world", the smartphone company have prepared new initiatives to "streamline HQ, simplify management, and ensure consistent policy, while making adjustments where needed".

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