According to a new report, Samsung overtook Apple by a narrow 1% lead to secure the top spot in smartphone shipment volumes in the first quarter of 2023, despite the continued contraction of the smartphone market.
According to research firm Counterpoint, the South Korean electronics giant shipped a total of 60.6 million units, narrowly surpassing Apple’s 58 million in the quarter ended March. The overall smartphone market saw a 14% year-on-year decline and a 7% quarter-on-quarter decline, resulting in a total of 280.2 million units shipped in Q1 2023, the Hong Kong-based company said in a report. .
At the same time, revenues fell 7% year over year, to a record low of $104 billion. While Samsung led the way in shipping volumes, Apple maintained an impressive first quarter in terms of operating earnings, leading Samsung by a significant 72%. The iPhone maker also captured half of the market’s sales and maintained a 31% advantage over its South Korean competitor, Counterpoint added.
Jeff Fieldhack, a research director at Counterpoint, attributed Apple’s resilient performance to the continued loyalty of its customer base. The company’s thriving ecosystem discourages consumers from seeking cheaper alternatives, while its strong presence in the refurbished market — accounting for more than 50% of the industry — supports performance, he said.
“Apple is able to weather economic and other fluctuations better than its rivals while enjoying unwavering loyalty. This also meant that Apple was able to meet demand for the iPhone 14 series that ran (sic) over Q4 2022 when it had problems at its Zhengzhou factory, rather than having that share disappear or be transferred to rivals,” Fieldhack said.
Counterpoint’s projections match recent Canalys findingsanother research company.
Apple officially repeated some of this achievement on Thursday, announcing in its quarterly earnings that it sold $51.3 billion of its major appliances in the quarter ended March.
But the road ahead is likely to remain difficult. According to Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak, we could see a few more falling quarters for several reasons.
“The ongoing problems affecting the smartphone market are unlikely to abate any time soon. In addition, the recent decision by OPEC countries to cut oil production could lead to higher inflation rates, reducing consumer purchasing power,” he said.
The industry-wide downturn has had a noticeable impact on the financial results of numerous major players in the smartphone market. The latest Samsung Mobile Division result suggested revenue was down 2% year over year. Samsung has now registered as a company a 95% profit drop due to weak demand for chips.
Earlier this week, chipmaker Qualcomm shares fell after revealing a 17% year-over-year decline in smartphone processor sales.