No one would expect a sudden change in the competition among mobile devices to occur. Samsung outperformed all competitors globally and became the first smartphone shipments for last year as the latest findings have just been exposed. Last year, for the first time in a while, Samsung, the South Korean tech giant, shipped more than 272 million phones across the globe, resizing the no. 1 position, which had long been dominated by Apple.

Samsung Surpasses Apple

While both businesses saw a decline in their supplies of components and increasing economic difficulties, Samsung managed to sustain a high level of performance benefiting from a diverse service/product offering and an expanded global presence. Researchers relate Samsung’s achievement to the fact that the company sells its products at a highly competitive price in the emerging markets while at the same time places great emphasis on the A-series and Galaxy S22, which are famous for their attractiveness and advanced characteristics.

Just as Apple faced headwinds from scaled back demand for the iPhone 13 by its traditionally reliable and affluent customer base in the West, demand from its SE Asia market was growing for such mid-order products as the iPhone 7. Overall iPhone shipments calculated units by more than 9% from last year and equal 257 millions of units. Stagnant updates and price list increases clearly discouraged many users from opting for an exchange of their not so new models for something new and splurging.

In addition, Apple has not been so successful in achieving the same position in markets that depend heavily on cheap smartphones like India, Latin America and Africa as those regions have become major markets of smartphones. iPhones remain the reigning champ in the premium segment. Although most iPhone models costs a lot, there are still many people who can’t afford them and represent a significant proportion of the segment.  

Samsung, on the other hand, has invested heavily to broaden distribution networks and introduce more affordable 5G-enabled phones. This helped the brand achieve double-digit shipment growth even as global economic conditions weakened consumer electronics spending. Samsung also benefits from a lack of reliance on any single must-have product like the iPhone.

Going forward, industry experts say Apple will need to rethink its international strategy if it hopes to reclaim the top spot. Narrowing the pricing gap on iPhones or developing a multi-brand approach similar to Samsung’s could allow Apple to better compete on price while maintaining margins. Success of the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup will also be important to watch in the coming quarters.

For consumers, the changing industry leadership highlights how even dominant players must adapt to shifting trends. It also shows the ongoing value that Samsung delivers across its diverse portfolio of devices. The mobile race remains highly competitive, ensuring companies keep innovating to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for connectivity.