Apple Inc. has surpassed all other competitors to become the largest smartphone vendor in 2023, as per new data from market researcher IDC. With 234.6 million devices shipped during the year, Apple took the top spot, ahead of Samsung Electronics Co. This is the first time that Apple has claimed the title of the largest smartphone vendor and the first time since 2010 that a company other than Samsung has occupied this position.
Despite a challenging year for the overall smartphone market, which witnessed a 3.2% drop in industry shipments, Apple managed to achieve a 3.7% year-over-year growth. It was the only one among the top four phone makers to experience an increase in shipments.
In the calendar fourth quarter, Apple further solidified its dominance, with 80.5 million units shipped, representing an impressive 11.6% increase compared to the previous year. Samsung secured second place with 53 million shipments, witnessing a decline of 10.9%. Two Chinese manufacturers, Xiaomi and Transsion, captured the third and fourth positions respectively, with 40.7 million shipments (up 22.7%) and 28.2 million shipments (up 68.6%).
This achievement is a testament to Apple’s unwavering commitment to innovation and consumer satisfaction, solidifying its position at the forefront of the smartphone industry.
Apple Emerges as the Winner in the Smartphone Market
According to IDC’s research director Nabila Popal, Apple has come out on top as the biggest winner in the smartphone market. Despite the strong growth observed from low-end Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi in the second half of 2023, driven by emerging markets, Apple has managed to secure a dominant position.
Apple will provide its own perspective on the December quarter when it releases its earnings report on February 1.
This positive ranking by IDC comes at a time when concerns about Apple’s standing among investors have been raised. There are worries on Wall Street regarding resurgent competition from Chinese manufacturers like Huawei Technologies Co., and in response, Apple is planning a rare discount event in China for the Lunar New Year holiday.
While Apple’s shares closed 1.2% lower on Tuesday and have declined by 4.6% since the beginning of 2024, the company continues to possess a market value of $2.84 trillion. Microsoft, having recently surpassed Apple in valuation, closed Tuesday’s trading day with a market value of $2.9 trillion.
However, IDC has emphasized that Apple still holds a strong position in the smartphone market. Popal credits Apple’s ongoing success and resilience to the increasing trend of premium devices, which now account for over 20% of the market. This growth is fueled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans.
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