Samsung is no longer the world’s biggest smartphone maker

  • Apple surpassed Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in 2023 despite a decline in global smartphone shipments. 
  •  Huawei’s comeback in China and competition from other Android manufacturers contributed to Samsung’s shipment decline. 
  •  Apple’s strong demand for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 series drove impressive shipment numbers, especially in Q4 2023.

Samsung dethroned Nokia to become the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer in 2010. A crown that the Korean giant has held for 13 long years. But the latest numbers from analyst firm IDC suggest that Apple toppled Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in 2023. More impressively, the Cupertino company achieved this despite the overall smartphone market registering a 3.2% YoY decline in shipments to a decade-low 1.17 billion units.

Preliminary data from IDC shows Apple shipped 234.6 million iPhones in 2023 to grab 20.1% of the smartphone market. That’s up from 226.3 million shipments in 2022 and a market share of 18.8%. This is the first time Apple has become the world’s biggest smartphone maker by volume for a full calendar year.

Samsung came in second with 19.4% of the market share and clocked 226.6 million shipments, a big decline from 262.2 million in 2022. Overall, the Korean company saw its market share shrink by 13.6%, which Apple capitalized upon. IDC’s group vice president Ryan Reith believes Huawei’s strong comeback in China and Honor, OnePlus, and Google launching “very competitive devices in the lower price range of the high end” segment played a key role in Samsung’s shipment decline.


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