Apple has surpassed Samsung in worldwide smartphone shipments for the first time ever.

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In a historic achievement, Apple surpassed Samsung in smartphone shipments for the first time, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. While IDC notes that its data is still being finalized and may change, another research firm, Canalys, also confirms that Apple has claimed the number-one spot for 2023. Apple shipped 234.6 million mobile devices, while Samsung shipped 226.6 million. Rounding out the top five are Xiaomi, Oppo, and Transsion, with smartphone shipments of 145.9 million, 103.1 million, and 94.9 million, respectively.
According to IDC, Samsung has been the top annual board leader for 13 years, except 2010. Interestingly, Apple did not even reach the top five that year. Instead, Nokia claimed first place, followed by Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE, and Research in Motion (known for producing BlackBerry devices). This list of companies serves as a clear reminder of how much can change in the smartphone industry within just 13 years.

Apple faces tough rivalry from Android producers such as Huawei, OnePlus, Honor, and Google. These companies are not only challenging Samsung, but according to Canalys, Huawei’s growing dominance could also pose a threat to Apple’s expansion in the Chinese market. In 2020, reports revealed that Huawei had successfully navigated past US sanctions and utilized Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.’s (SMIC) advanced 7nm processor to power their Mate 60 Pro smartphone with 5G capabilities.
Although the overall smartphone market experienced a 3.2 per cent decline in 2023 compared to 2022, there are indications of a potential recovery from its recent downturn. Fourth-quarter shipments increased by 8.5% year-on-year, while Canalys reports an 8% growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline.

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