iPhone Bucks Trend in Shrinking Smartphone Market

Apple was the only leading vendor to increase market share in the last year, says a new Canalys report.

Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
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Global smartphone shipments fell by 13% in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the same period last year, according to a report published Thursday by research firm Canalys.

The decline comes amid a convergence of economic conditions, including softening consumer demand, high inflation, and sluggish economic growth.

"The smartphone market's decline in the first quarter of 2023 was within expectations throughout the industry," said Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia. The quarter saw 269.8 million units shipped.

Despite a slowing smartphone market, Apple bucked the trend as the only top five vendor to increase its market share annually, to 21% from 18%. Rival Samsung's market share dropped from 24% to 22%, indicating that Apple has closed in on its South Korean rival, boosted by robust demand for its iPhone 14 Pro series, announced last September.


During the latest January to March quarter, however, Samsung reclaimed the top spot from Apple, shipping 60.3 million units driven by a fresh lineup of products following the launch of its popular Galaxy 23 series in February. iPhone market share fell from 25% to 21%, while Samsung's share of the pie grew from 20% to 22%. Chinese tech giant Xiaomi maintained its third place position with 30.5 million shipments, and Chinese phone makers Oppo and Vivo rounded out fourth and fifth place on the list.

The quarterly drop-off for Apple doesn't come as a surprise, though. The fourth quarter encompasses the launch of new iPhones, generating a huge bump up in sales that subsequently tapers off in the following January-March quarter.