Apple overtook Samsung with the most smartphone users

William S. | March 29, 2023

In today's world, smartphones have become essential to our daily lives. From checking emails to browsing social media, we rely on these devices for communication, entertainment, and information. With technological advancements, smartphones have become more powerful and feature-packed than ever before.

According to the data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team, Apple overtook Samsung as the most popular smartphone in the first months of 2023. It is a significant shift in the global smartphone market, as Samsung has been the dominant player for several years. However, is this change part of a bigger tendency or only a short-term trend?

The data is based on the Mobile Vendor Market Share Worldwide from GlobalStats. The number of total smartphone users is based on Statista data from 2016 to 2021, including forecasts for 2022 - 2027.

Nearly through all of 2022, Samsung had the highest market share of all smartphones. However, in the past 6 months, especially in the last 2, their position started to shake as Apple slowly began to overtake them as the most popular smartphone.

In October, Apple surpassed Samsung’s market share by 0.2%. Despite that, Samsung regained its position at the top the next month, claiming 28.33% of the market share. Apple’s market share in November and December stayed just slightly behind, with 27.48% and 26.98%, respectively.

At the start of 2023, two months in a row, iPhones are now the leading smartphone. In January, Apple made up 27.6%, while Samsung had 27.09% of the market share. Next month, Apple’s share dropped slightly to 27.1%, and so did Samsung’s to 26.75%.

Currently, the world has about 6.84 billion smartphone users, of which 1.85 billion are using iPhones and 1.82 billion have chosen a Samsung. However, it is essential to note that these numbers are just estimates, as some people might have multiple phones and use both Apple and Samsung devices.

Other phones take up a significantly lower percentage of the market share. Xiaomi phones comprised 12.29% of the market in February, while Oppo had a 6.86% share. Huawei’s smartphones have declined for the past 6 months and reached a market share of 4.84% last month.

Short-term trend or a tendency?

The recent shift in smartphone market share has sparked debate among industry experts and consumers alike. While some view Apple’s overtake as a short-term trend, others believe that it is a tendency that will continue in the future.

On the one hand, those who believe that this is a temporary trend point to Apple's recent product releases, notably the iPhone 14 series. Apple's strong marketing and advertising campaigns have also contributed to the hype and excitement surrounding its new products.

However, those who think this shift is a trend that will continue in the future point to several factors. Apple has a competitive advantage over Samsung in its strong brand image and customer loyalty. Apple has positioned itself as a privacy and security leader, which has helped it gain the trust of consumers who value their privacy.

As for other smartphones, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei, their user base is mainly made up of Chinese people as their devices are popular local products.

While it is impossible to predict the future with certainty, Apple's success is likely to continue due to its strong brand image, customer loyalty, and effective marketing. While Samsung is undoubtedly a formidable rival, it will need to innovate and differentiate itself in order to catch up to Apple.

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