Apple has became the world’s top smartphone maker by volume for the first time in 2023.
Gatekeepers News reports that this ended Samsung’s 12-year reign as the industry leader as consumers trade up to higher-priced handsets.
According to research group IDC iPhone manufacturer, last year was the only major handset maker to post annual unit growth, with 2023 shipments rising 3.7 per cent to 234.6mn to edge ahead of Samsung’s 226.6mn.
The IDC said, that uplift from Apple came in a year that was the worst in a decade for the smartphone market, with device shipments falling 3.2 per cent to 1.17bn units.
Apple has long been the top smartphone maker in terms of revenues and profits, courtesy iPhone’s dominance at the high end of the market.
However, last year was the first in which it also led by volume.
Samsung, which is preparing to launch its flagship Galaxy S24 model this week, reported a 13.6 per cent fall in shipments last year, as Huawei regained share in China and cheaper Android handset makers posted stronger growth.
In particular, Chinese manufacturer Transsion — whose brands Tecno, Infinix and itel have made it Africa’s dominant smartphone company — grew 30.8 per cent last year, putting it in the top five behind Xiaomi and Oppo.