Apple has emerged as the leader in the global smartphone market, surpassing Samsung, a position the latter held for 12 consecutive years. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple secured over a fifth of the market share last year, marking a historic achievement. Samsung trailed with a 19.4% market share, while Chinese players Xiaomi, OPPO, and Transsion followed suit.
The smartphone industry faced a decline, with almost 1.2 billion smartphones sold last year—a more than 3% drop compared to the previous year. Economic challenges and high-interest rates contributed to this downturn. However, industry experts anticipate a recovery in the market this year.
Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market is noteworthy, considering challenges such as increased regulatory scrutiny and resurging competition from Huawei, particularly in its largest market, China. Apple sold over 234 million phones last year, making it the only player in the top three to exhibit positive annual growth. Nabila Popal, IDC’s director, stated that Apple’s success is attributed to the rising trend of premium devices, constituting over 20% of the market.
Despite a decline in sales in China due to heightened competition from Huawei, Apple strategically navigated the market by focusing on premium offerings, attractive trade-in deals, and interest-free financing plans. The company recorded a global growth of 3.7%, distinguishing itself in a challenging market environment.
Samsung’s slump represents a shift in dynamics, as the South Korean giant grapples with weakened global demand for consumer electronics. Facing competition from more affordable Android models, including Transsion and Xiaomi, Samsung recently warned of more substantial profit drops than anticipated.
The IDC emphasizes the smartphone market’s evolving landscape, with a notable rise in Android providers diversifying the market. Additionally, customer preferences are shifting towards foldable phones and artificial intelligence capabilities, indicating a transformative phase in the industry.
This transformative period underscores the need for companies to adapt to changing consumer demands and technological trends to maintain competitiveness in the dynamic smartphone market.