Samsung shipped 3bn smartphones in 10 years, 33% more than Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei

David Afolayan
According to an IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker survey, Samsung shipped nearly three billion smartphones in the past decade, 33% more than Apple and more than Xiaomi, Huawei, and Vivo combined.
Samsung maintains market leadership

According to an IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker survey, Samsung shipped nearly three billion smartphones in the past decade, 33% more than Apple and more than Xiaomi, Huawei, and Vivo combined. A similar report by AltIndex.com indicated that Samsung shipped 700 million more than Apple.

Although Samsung has held the lion’s share in the smartphone market since the early days of Android, its market share has significantly dropped over the past ten years, primarily due to surging Chinese competitors Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo. In Q1 2024, the South Korean tech giant held 20.8% of the global smartphone market, down from 30.7% in Q1 2014.

Unlike its biggest rival, Apple saw its market share increase by 2% in this period, reaching 17.3% in the first quarter of this year. Xiaomi is now close to Apple, with a 14.1% market share in the first three months of the year, or three times more than a decade ago. Chinese manufacturers Transsion and Oppo follow with 9.9% and 8.7% market shares in 2024, respectively.

Samsung shipped 3bn smartphones in 10 years, 33% more than Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei

Interestingly, the South Korean tech giant created this huge sales gap despite its sales falling continually between 2014 and 2022. In 2014, one of the best years for Samsung Galaxy line sales, Samsung shipped 292.3 million of its smartphones worldwide. By the end of 2022, the company’s annual shipments dropped by 18% to 258 million.

On the other hand, Apple’s annual shipments have increased in this period. Between 2014 and 2015, iPhone sales jumped by 20% and hit 231 million units. After four years of decline and its annual sales falling to 190 million units in 2019, Apple’s smartphone sales exploded, showing the American manufacturer delivers the right combination of user experience and status symbol appeal.

Since 2019, global iPhone sales have jumped by 22% and hit 231.8 million last year, the highest figure the company has ever reported.

What you should know about the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5
An unending war between Samsung and Apple

In the last quarter of 2023, the global smartphone market suffered an 8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) decline in sales volume. Analysts believe that the unremitting decline reflects the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of global conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war on consumer demand.

The slower-than-expected recovery has hindered the market’s growth, resulting in the ninth consecutive quarter of decline.

Read more: Apple overtakes Samsung to become the biggest smartphone maker in 2023

Yet, despite a 13 per cent YoY decline in sales volume, Samsung continues its hold and leadership in the global smartphone market, capturing a fifth (20%) of the total sales in Q3.

At that time, the success of Flip 5 outsold its counterparts and the marketability of Samsung’s A-series models in mid-price bands demonstrated the company’s ability to cater to a broad range of consumers. Apple secured the second position with a 16% market share despite the limited availability of the iPhone 15 series.

Samsung shipped 3bn smartphones in 10 years, 33% more than Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei

HONOR, Huawei, and Transsion Group were the only brands to gain market share and record YoY growth in Q3. Huawei’s growth was driven by the launch of the Mate 60 series in China, while HONOR’s overseas performance was a major contributing factor. Transsion Group’s expansion efforts in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market, highlight their ability to seize opportunities in specific regions.

Data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) 3 months later indicated that Apple overtook Samsung as the leader in the global smartphone market in 2023, marking a significant shift at the top.

Apple’s ascent to the pinnacle of the global smartphone industry over Samsung is credited by the IDC to the escalating demand for premium devices, constituting more than 20% of the market. Apple’s sustained rise was also propelled by initiatives such as enticing trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans.

This achievement is noteworthy considering heightened regulatory concerns and resurgent competition from Huawei, particularly in China, the company’s largest market.

Samsung responds to losing global smartphone dominance to Apple 'We're going to outpace the market in 2024'
Joy Tim-Ayoola, Head of Mobile Division for Samsung West Africa

Subsequently, Samsung Electronics promised to bounce back and outpace the global smartphone market in 2024 with its revolutionary Galaxy S24 Series. Head of Mobile Division for Samsung West Africa, Joy Tim-Ayoola in response to a question by Technext said: “Did you wonder why the company had to release such information less than 24 hours when I (Samsung) had to change the revolution of what a smartphone would be?”

Read full story: Samsung responds to losing smartphone market dominance to Apple ‘We’re going to outpace the market in 2024’

Explaining why she was optimistic that Samsung would reclaim the top spot, she noted that the premium smartphone segment is increasing year-on-year in Nigeria and globally, despite the tough economic situation. 


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