Samsung second best in 2023 following a surge in iPhone sales

iPhone sales make Apple the market share leader for 2023, but the IDC report makes for troubling reading for the wider smartphone industry.

Official press image of black and pink iPhones for iPhone sales report from IDC

It’s official, Apple has knocked Samsung from the top spot in the smartphone industry, with iPhone sales taking the biggest piece of the pie in 2023. A new report from the IDC – International Data Corporation – details the change of position, making 2023 the first year since 2012 where Samsung hasn’t managed to cling onto the top spot. This news is intriguing reading ahead of the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event, with Samsung needing the new flagship S24 series of phones to succeed more than ever.

According to fresh data from the IDC, Samsung had a pretty rough 2023 if you measure the sales data to the previous year, with shipments of Samsung phones down from 262.2 million to 226.6 million. This shift takes the Korean tech giant’s market share down from 21.7% to 19.4%, trailing behind Apple’s 20.1%. The jump above Samsung for Apple is thanks to an improvement of 3.7% on the iPhone manufacturer’s 2022 market share of 18.8%, with iPhone sales particularly high in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Another interesting takeaway from the latest IDC report is Xiaomi retaining third place behind Apple and Samsung despite a dip in sales. The Chinese tech brand was down just under eight million in 2023 compared to the previous year, simultaneously losing .2% of the market share for a 12.5% slice of the piece, but is still pretty far out in front of fourth-place Oppo with a similarly reduced share of 8.8%.

The IDC report doesn’t just make for bleak reading for Samsung but the smartphone industry as a whole. Global shipments of all brands in 2023 fell 3.2% year on year, with purse strings tightening following inflation in the US, Europe, and beyond. There is a silver lining, though, with the IDC suggesting that results in the second part of 2023 suggest a recovery this year, with the anticipated arrival of new devices such as the Xiaomi 14, Samsung Galaxy S24, and iPhone 16.

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With that, you’re up to date on the news that iPhone sales in 2023 have cemented Apple’s place as the most significant player in the smartphone industry going forward. If you’re looking for a new handset yourself, check out our guides to the best Xiaomi phones and the best OnePlus phones. Or, if you’re more of a gamer, see our list of the best portable gaming consoles.