ua en ru

Apple becomes world's largest phone maker, surpassing Samsung

Apple becomes world's largest phone maker, surpassing Samsung Apple becomes world's largest phonemaker (Getty Images)

Apple is now the largest company in the world for selling smartphones as it beat Samsung, which had been on top for 12 years, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), BBC and Business Insider report.

Apple sold more than 1 in 5 phones last year. Samsung got 19.4% of the market while other companies like Xiaomi, OPPO, and Transsion followed.

The overall smartphone market decreased last year because of the pandemic. About 1.2 billion were sold, which is 3% less than the year before. This is the lowest in 10 years because many people were cautious with their money over economic problems and high-interest rates. But experts think the market will get better this year.

How many devices were sold

Apple sold more than 234 million phones throughout the year, with around 80.5 million devices in the fourth quarter, surpassing all other phone manufacturers. The company also experienced an increased market share, reaching 24.7 percent.

In comparison, Samsung shipped approximately 53 million smartphones during the same period but saw a decline in its market share, which fell to 16.3 percent, as reported by IDC. Samsung used to be the top company for memory chips, smartphones, and TVs. But now, their profits are going down because not many people want to buy electronics. Cheaper phones from Transsion and Xiaomi are also giving Samsung a hard time.

"Apple's ongoing success and resilience is in large part due to the increasing trend of premium devices, which now represent over 20% of the market, fueled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans," IDC research chief Nabila Popal said.

Apple's success is partly because it offers deals to trade in old phones, as well as options for buying a phone without paying interest.

Challenges for Apple

However, Apple faced challenges from regulations and competition from Huawei in China. iPhone sales in China went down by 30% in the first week of 2024. The overall number of smartphones shipped in China double-dropped, mainly because of Apple's lower sales. Even though Apple offered discounts on various iPhone models on Chinese online marketplaces, people still didn't buy as much.

At the same time, Huawei's share in the Chinese smartphone market went up by about 6% in the last quarter of 2023, with expectations to gain more market share.