Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Samsung overtakes Apple to become world's leading smartphone vendor

Apple's iPhone 15 Pro (left) and Samsung's Galaxy S24

It's less a case of popularity, and more about release cycles, but Samsung is again the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world.

Apple took the global top spot for smartphone sales inSeptember 2023, and a later analysis of the whole year confirmed its position. Apple had similar success in specific regions, such as Europe.

According to the Korea Times, however, the roles have now reversed. Based on figures for February 2024, the publication reports that Samsung captured a 20% share of the market.

In that month, Apple took 18%. That translates to Apple selling 17.41 million iPhones, while Samsung sold 19.69 million units spanning its entire range with retail prices as low as $80.

Neither Samsung nor Apple can really boast of being number one. For while it isn't exactly as if the two swap places to a schedule, it's very close to that.

So Apple taking the top spot in September 2023 will have been because of the launch of the iPhone 15 range. And Samsung's victory in February is because that's when its latest Galaxy S24 models went on sale.

The Korea Times reports that Samsung has sold 6.53 million of the Galaxy S24 so far.

Then based on data from January 2024, Samsung reportedly rose from 20% to 36% of the US market. At the same time, Apple in its post holiday, post launch stage in the cycle, dropped from 64% to 48%.

Apple's taking the crown over the whole of 2023 may be more significant. For year-round, Samsung typically has an advantage over Apple because it sells so very many more different smartphone models to hit different price points.

Overall, though, smartphone sales have tended to be in decline worldwide, particularly in China. Apple still topped the chart in Japan in the latest figures from March 2024, but that market has shrunk.