Samsung Shipped Almost 3 Billion Smartphones in 10 Years – 700 Million More than Apple


Samsung Vs Apple

The global smartphone market has been dominated by two tech giants for over a decade – Samsung and Apple. While both companies have consistently held around 20% market share, Samsung has emerged as the clear leader, shipping nearly 3 billion smartphones in the past 10 years, a staggering 33% more than Apple. It is safe to call Samsung and Apple the “world’s two largest smartphone producers”. Thankfully, the competition between these brands has been healthy over the past fourteen years. They barely cross each other’s path in a toxic way and this is a good thing for the global mobile phone market.

In the early years, Samsung took the clear lead and Apple has been making a comeback. However, details of their shipments over the past 10 years show that the gap between Samsung and Apple is still significant. According to recent IDC data presented by AltIndex.com, over the past decade (2014 – 2024), Samsung shipped about 3 billion mobile phones. This is a whopping 700 million more than Apple’s shipments for the same period.

It is interesting that Samsung shipments have been falling systematically between 2014 and 2022. However, this did not stop the company from maintaining its gap ahead of Apple in the long term. Its shipments in the last 10 years are over 33% higher than shipments from Xiaomi, Huawei and Vivo combined.

Samsung and Apple

Samsung’s Dominance in the Smartphone Market

Samsung’s success can be attributed to its ability to cater to a wide range of consumers, from entry-level to premium segments. The South Korean tech giant’s Galaxy lineup has been a consistent performer, with the latest S24 series shipping 13.5 million units in Q1 2024, a 35% year-over-year growth compared to its predecessor.

Despite a decline in annual shipments from 292.3 million in 2014 to 258 million in 2022, Samsung has managed to maintain its lead in the market. The company’s strategic decision to launch the S24 series earlier in the year, coupled with its revamped Galaxy A series, has played a crucial role in its recent success.

Apple’s Steady Growth and Challenges

While Apple has been a close second to Samsung in terms of market share, the American manufacturer has faced its fair share of challenges. Between 2014 and 2015, iPhone sales jumped by 20%, hitting 231 million units. However, the company experienced a decline in sales for four consecutive years, with annual shipments falling to 190 million units in 2019.

Since 2019, Apple has seen a resurgence in its smartphone sales, with a 22% jump in global iPhone sales, reaching 231.8 million units in 2022, the highest figure the company has ever reported. This growth can be attributed to Apple’s ability to deliver a combination of user experience and status symbol appeal that resonates with consumers.

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Market Share Shifts and the Rise of Chinese Manufacturers

While Samsung and Apple have dominated the smartphone market for years, the landscape has shifted significantly over the past decade. Samsung’s market share has dropped by 10%, from 30.7% in Q1 2014 to 20.8% in Q1 2024, primarily due to the rise of Chinese competitors such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo.

Xiaomi, in particular, has seen a meteoric rise, with its market share increasing from 4.4% in Q1 2014 to 14.1% in Q1 2024, making it a close competitor to Apple. Other Chinese manufacturers like Transsion and Oppo have also made significant strides, holding 9.9% and 8.7% market share in Q1 2024, respectively.

Samsung and Apple

The Impact of Emerging Markets and Macroeconomic Factors

The growth of Chinese manufacturers can be attributed to their strong performance in emerging markets such as the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. These regions have seen a rebound in smartphone demand, with vendors like Xiaomi and Transsion experiencing robust year-over-year growth of 33% and 86%, respectively, in Q1 2024.

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However, the smartphone market is not without its challenges. Macroeconomic factors such as inflation and supply chain disruptions have impacted the industry. Vendors have had to navigate these challenges while maintaining a cautious stance, focusing on wallet share, inventory management, and supply chain optimization.

The Future of the Smartphone Market

As the smartphone market continues to evolve, vendors will need to adapt to stay competitive. The rise of on-device AI solutions presents an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves and add value to their ecosystems. Strategic alliances among brands, chipset providers, and software firms will be crucial in bringing unique and personalized AI solutions to end users.

In the long term, vendors will look to bring these AI features to mid-range price bands to attract more users to their native AI ecosystems. Additionally, ecosystem expansion via cross-device integration and strategic partnerships will boost revenue potential, highlighting the profound impact of on-device AI on user experiences and brand profitability.

Conclusion

The battle for dominance in the global smartphone market has been a long-standing one between Samsung and Apple. While Samsung has emerged as the clear leader, shipping nearly 3 billion smartphones in the past 10 years, Apple has made steady progress, with its market share increasing by 2% in the same period.

The rise of Chinese manufacturers has disrupted the market, with Xiaomi, Transsion, and Oppo making significant strides in emerging markets. As the industry navigates macroeconomic challenges, vendors will need to focus on innovation, strategic partnerships, and ecosystem expansion to stay ahead of the curve.

The future of the smartphone market lies in the integration of on-device AI solutions, which will shape the user experience and brand profitability in the years to come. As Samsung and Apple continue their battle for supremacy, the industry as a whole will need to adapt to the changing landscape to remain relevant and successful. What do you think about Samsung’s shipments over the past 10 years? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below

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