The global smartphone market has experienced significant shifts in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a recent report released by the analytical agency Counterpoint Research. The most notable change has been Apple’s appearance as the new market leader. Overtaking its primary rival, the South Korean giant Samsung.
In the second and third quarters of 2022, Apple’s global market share was a modest 16%. However, following the highly anticipated autumn launch of the iPhone 14 series, the company‘s share surged to 23% in the fourth quarter. Among the top five smart phone companies, Apple and Oppo were the only two to experience growth during this period. With their shipments increasing by 42% and 4%.
Apple Takes the Lead as the Largest Global Smartphone Vendor, Surpassing Samsung in the Last Quarter
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In contrast, Samsung faced a significant decline in the fourth quarter. With its smart phone shipments falling by 16% year over year (YoY) and 9% quarter over quarter (QoQ) to 58.3 million units. Consequently, the company’s market share dropped to 15%. The regional distribution of market share revealed some interesting changes. For instance, Apple dominated the North American market with a 57% share. While Samsung held the top spot in Europe with 31%. In the Middle East and Africa, Apple failed to secure a position in the top five. And in Latin America, the company ranked fourth.
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The overall performance of the smart phone market in 2022 was less than impressive. With total shipments decreasing by 12% to 1.2 billion units—the lowest figure since 2013. The fourth quarter saw an even steeper decline, as shipments plunged by 19% YoY to 302.6 million devices.
Despite Apple’s relatively small share of the total number of Android smartphones, the company has solidified its position as the undisputed leader in the premium segment. In 2022, Apple captured 75% of this market, leaving Samsung far behind. This marks a significant increase from 2021 when the company already held an impressive 70% share in the premium niche.
In conclusion, the fourth quarter of 2022 has been a game changer in the global smart phone market. With Apple at the top position and displacing its long standing rival, Samsung. The iPhone 14 series has played a crucial role in this shift, even amid the overall decline in smart phone shipments. As the market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how rivals will respond to Apple’s increasing dominance. Particularly in the premium segment.