For the first time in its history, Apple overtakes Samsung to become number one in smartphone sales in 2023

The Californian giant sold more than 234 million iPhones in 2023, taking the place occupied by Samsung since 2011. A success in an unfavorable context for the smartphone market.



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The Apple logo on the facade of an Apple Store in Shanghai, January 15, 2024. (CFOTO / NURPHOTO / AFP)

A historic first. Apple overthrew its competitor Samsung to become the manufacturer having sold the most smartphones in 2023, according to preliminary data from the specialized research firm IDC revealed Monday January 15. The Californian brand has in fact sold more than 234 million iPhones in 2023 (+3.7%), ahead of the 226 million devices sold by Samsung (-13.6%), according to IDC.

This is the first time in its history that Apple has held first place, and the first time that Samsung has lost its status as sales champion since 2011, experts point out in a press release. Apple, however, faced “increased regulatory challenges and renewed competition from Huawei in China, its largest market”adds Nabila Popal, research director.

Apple stood out in an unfavorable context: global sales of smartphones decreased by 3.2% in 2023, to 1.17 billion units, the “lowest annual volume in a decade due largely to macroeconomic challenges”, explains IDC. The firm nevertheless expects a recovery in 2024, with already growth of 8.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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