Samsung is no longer the world’s largest smartphone brand

For over 10 years Samsung has reigned supreme over the smartphone market as the world’s biggest brand, but that changed in 2023 as Apple overtook them to the top spot.  This is the first time the American giant has ever sold the most smartphones in a year, an achievement Samsung has laid claim to since 2010.

Apple, the maker of the iPhone, sold 234.6 million iPhones in 2023, which amounted to 20.1% of the market share in 2023, whereas South Korea’s most valuable company shipped 226.6 million Galaxy smartphones, which was 19.4% of the market, according to market research firm IDC, as reported by Business Wire. The data also shows that the global smartphone market was down in 2023 by 3.2%, though this still represents 1.17 billion smartphones being sold.

This number marks the lowest full-year volume in a decade, but despite this overall decline, data suggests that the market will recover into growth in 2024. Quarter four of 2023 showed 8.5% year-over-year growth, which was higher than forecasts of 7.3%.

Of the top five smartphone brands, only Apple and Chinese company Transsion saw growth in 2023, with gains of 3.7% and 30.8% respectively. Transsion is focused on developing markets such as Africa and South America. Samsung saw the largest losses year on year, ending 2023 at -13.6%. Xiaomi and OPPO were also down by -4.7% and -9.9% respectively.

What can Samsung do to regain its position as the largest smartphone brand?

Samsung won’t take this lying down and has much in the pipeline in 2024 which may help it recover the top spot. Unified Quick Share, unveiled at CES 2024, with Google, Samsung, and Windows computers will help bridge a gap created by Apple’s popular AirDrop feature.

In addition, leaks suggest that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S24 range will be a doozy, with impressive specs and features. Samsung reportedly aims to sell over 35 million of its S24 range by the end of 2024, though issues with a recent update launch will not help consumer confidence.

Featured image: John Tekeridis/Pexels

Ali Rees

Freelance journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist.

They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games.
During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of them are idiots.

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