Apple and Samsung remain the most popular smartphone brands worldwide, with a combined market share of just over 56% in the first half of the year.
In South Africa, however, Samsung dominates the market with 52.2% share followed by Apple in distant second place at 16.6% and Huawei at 15.4%, while the rest of Africa is increasingly being dominated by low-cost Chinese brands such as Itel and Tecno.
This is according to a new report by tech review and research website John’s Phones, which found that despite impressive growth of Chinese brands Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo, sales figures for 2023 reveal the continued dominance of Apple and Samsung on the global stage.
These two phone makers – one headquartered in California in the US and the other in Suwon in South Korea – were responsible for all of the 10 best-selling smartphones in the world in the first six months of this year, said the John’s Phones report.
The data shows Apple’s key markets include the US, Russia, Australia and Europe. Samsung, on the other hand, is the market leader in Africa, Eastern Europe, South America and parts of the Middle East.
Rather than maintaining a proportionate share of each market, Chinese contenders such as Xiaomi, Tecno and Oppo tend to dominate specific markets or regions.
Oppo has taken off in parts of the Far East, holding the number-one spot in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. Low-cost smartphone brand Tecno has a strong foothold in Nigeria, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
iPhone’s steady decline
Researcher IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for the second quarter of 2023 shows similar trends. According to the company, worldwide smartphone shipments declined by 6.8% year on year in the second quarter.
Apple iPhone sales have been in steady decline since they peaked in the second quarter of 2022, while Samsung’s resurgence in the first quarter was offset by a decline in sales in the second quarter.
“There is a real concern about when volume picks up and what the horizon is for iPhone sales growth,” said Daniel Newman, CEO and principal analyst at research firm Futurum Group.
IDC, however, said manufacturers are optimistic about the market heading into the new year.
“We are finally hearing optimism from key original equipment manufacturers and supply chains and expect the market to return to growth by the end of the year and into 2024,” said Nabil Popal, research director with IDC’s mobility and consumer device trackers, in a blog post. “As the market ramps back up, it is also an opportunity for newer vendors to gain share.”
Among the relative newcomers making a dent in the smartphone market is Shenzhen Transsion Holdings, which owns the Tecno, Itel and Infinix brands. In stark contrast to the sales declines experienced by other manufacturers in IDC’s data, Transsion sales rose 34% year on year in the second quarter and the company, which focuses on emerging markets, shipped 25.3 million units in the period.
IDC ranks Transsion as fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, with its share of the market estimated at 6.5%. “IDC expects a shift in the vendor rankings at the bottom of the stack, as we already see happening this quarter with Transsion entering the top five for the first time,” it said.
John’s Phones data shows that Transsion has made significant inroads into key African markets. Through its Tecno (26%) and Infinix (21%) brands, the company holds 45% of the Nigerian smart phone market.
A similar picture presents itself in the DRC, where Transsion has more than 40% of the market through its Tecno and Itel brands. Transsion’s share of the Ugandan market at 26%, meanwhile, is outpacing Samsung’s 20%. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media