Apple has officially beaten Samsung as the world’s top smartphone seller, for the first time in 12 years.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), in 2023, Apple sold 234.6 million units while Samsung sold 226.6 million units.

IDC is a worldwide provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

“The last time a company not named Samsung was at the top of the smartphone market was 2010, and for 2023 it is now Apple,” IDC said.

This data was published ahead of Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S24, S23 Plus and S24 Ultra.

The corporation also explained that this shift was marked by an increased popularity of high-end devices. “A sort of shifting of power at the top of the largest consumer electronics market was driven by an all-time high market share for Apple and a first time at the top,” continued IDC.

IDC also reported that the US tech giant, valued at $2.8 trillion (€2.38 trillion), held a market share of 20.1 per cent, surpassing Samsung’s 19.4 per cent. While Apple has long been recognised as the leading smartphone manufacturer in terms of revenue and profit, this marks the first occasion where it has taken the lead in market share by volume.

Despite the shift from Samsung to Apple, IDC noted a 3.2 per cent smartphone shipment decline to 1.17 billion units in 2023. Despite so, it remarked that although this represents the smallest annual volume in 10 years, “driven largely by macroeconomic challenges and elevated inventory early in the year,” the growth noted in the second half increases prospect of recovery for 2024.

“The fourth quarter saw 8.5 per cent year-over-year growth and 326.1 million shipments, higher than the forecast of 7.3 per cent growth,” concluded IDC.

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