Apple has emerged as the leader in phone shipments, surpassing Samsung for the first time in history. This is a significant shift in the iPhone sales landscape. Samsung has long been the top phone shipper, thanks to its extensive experience in the smartphone market and its ability to manufacture phones across various budget ranges. On the other hand, Apple has consistently used high-quality materials and has not compromised on offering the latest processor technology, even in its budget-friendly “iPhone SE” series. This approach has resonated well with smartphone owners.
Apple’s Success in the US and India
Despite a 4% decline in global annual phone sales, Apple’s rise to the top has been uninterrupted. The company has now claimed the number one spot for smartphones sold in a year. According to Jeff Fieldhack, the research director at Counterpoint, “Apple displaced Samsung as the biggest player in shipments for the first time in a full year. While the US made the biggest volume contribution to Apple’s growth, it also received a major boost through double-digit growth in emerging markets including India, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), and Middle East and Africa (MEA). This growth offset any challenges Apple may have faced in China due to the resurgence of Huawei. With an accompanying ASP growth of 2%, it can be seen to be in a revenue super cycle, buoyed by its ecosystem stickiness coupled with the premiumization trend, crossing an annual revenue of $200 billion.”
Apple’s Dominance and Challenges
Apple’s strong market share in phone sales is primarily driven by its success in the US and India. However, the company faces challenges in China, where Huawei has made a remarkable comeback. Apple’s position in China remains weak, and it may face tough competition from other Chinese OEMs.
The surge in Apple’s sales could be attributed to the increasing desire among users to own premium devices over time. Statistics also confirm a decline in both the shipments and sales rates of Samsung’s low-end devices. Apple’s annual revenue reached $203 billion in 2023, setting a new record.