GRAPHIC: Apple overtakes Samsung as leading global mobile phone brand

The iPhone 15 range landed in South Africa in September. Picture: Supplied / Apple

The iPhone 15 range landed in South Africa in September. Picture: Supplied / Apple

Published Jan 19, 2024


Apple has bagged the number one spot in annual smartphone sales for the first time ever – knocking Samsung off the top.

The California-based tech behemoth accounted for 20.1% of global smartphone sales in 2023, shipping 234.6 million handsets, according to numbers from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Apple has overtaken Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer for the first time, accounting for more than 20% of global sales. Graphic charts smartphone market share in 2023.

Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant, took 19.4% of the market share, selling 226.6 million units. Chinese phone makers Xiaomi, OPPO and Transsion brought up the rear.

In all, 1.17 billion smartphones were sold in 2023, down 3.2% on the previous year – the lowest amount sold in a decade as consumers tighten their belts in the face of economic uncertainty.

Samsung, which until now was the world’s largest maker of smartphones, recently warned of declining profits as it faces stiff competition from cheaper Android models, particularly in China – the largest market.

Samsung on Wednesday released its latest Galaxy smartphones with new artificial intelligence features as the South Korean giant seeks to win back its spot as the world's biggest phone seller from Apple.

"Artificial Intelligence will bring about great change in the mobile industry," Samsung president T.M. Roh said as he kicked off an event in a sports center in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California.

Mobile devices will become the primary access points for AI, with Samsung aiming to be a leader on that path, Roh added.

The premium S24 Ultra unveiled at the event was said to have the capability to translate foreign language phone calls and texts while they were taking place.

A Samsung executive likened it to having an interpreter taking part in multi-lingual phone calls.