Mobile Phone Market Trends in 2023
In the fiercely competitive mobile phone market of 2023, industry giants like Apple and Samsung continued to dominate, while domestic manufacturers maintained their strong presence. According to the latest report from the market research firm IDC, the global smartphone shipments in 2023 reached 1.17 billion units. Interestingly, Apple surpassed Samsung, securing the top position for the year with a 20.1% market share, ending Samsung’s dominance in annual shipments since 2010. Furthermore, three Chinese brands made it to the top five, with OPPO securing the fourth position, maintaining a steady performance.
Reflecting on Apple’s high-end strategies in 2023, despite the controversies surrounding the launch of the iPhone 15 series, such as the standard version retaining outdated features like 60Hz display and 20W charging, and the underwhelming performance of the A17 Pro processor in the Pro version, Apple’s dominance in the high-end market remained unshaken. Particularly in China, the smooth and stable iOS ecosystem continued to attract consumers, with the iPhone 15 and even the 14 series maintaining their leading position in the high-end market.
Turning to the other players, the surprise came from the Chinese brand “Transsion,” which unexpectedly secured a position in the top five for the year, surpassing one of its domestic competitors with an impressive annual growth rate of 30.8%. For those unfamiliar with Transsion, it is a Shenzhen-based mobile company whose phones are as popular in Africa as iPhones are in China, thanks to Transsion’s excellent localized services, which have endeared the brand to the people of Africa.
In addition to Transsion, the domestic manufacturer OPPO also achieved remarkable success in 2023, securing the fourth position globally with a market share of 8.8% and a shipment volume of 103 million units. A significant factor contributing to this outstanding performance was OPPO’s “dual-flagship strategy” of both traditional and foldable flagships introduced in 2023. According to IDC’s data, OPPO’s foldable smartphones held a strong lead in the foldable screen market with a 35% market share in the first quarter of 2023.
When we look at specific products, especially the Find N2 Flip and Find N3 Flip small foldable phones, they performed exceptionally well. According to Counterpoint data, in the first half of 2023, OPPO’s foldable screen phones claimed a 20% market share, with the Find N2 Flip significantly leading the domestic small foldable screen phone market with a 31% share. Overall, OPPO’s achievements in the foldable screen market have been quite remarkable.
Looking at traditional flagship models, the early 2023 release of the Find X6 series flagship, emphasizing imaging quality with the introduction of “Super Imaging Triple Cameras,” along with enhancements like the Super Imaging Engine and Hasselblad colors, elevated the phone’s image capabilities to new heights and exceeded market expectations. With the recent release of the Find X7 series flagship, featuring a rare quad-camera setup with dual periscope zoom, a new generation super imaging system, dual-mode satellite communication, and a top-notch 2K diamond screen, OPPO once again raised the bar for flagship smartphones.
Looking ahead, as manufacturers shift towards new directions such as AI large models, satellite communication, and foldable screen phones, the competition in the mobile phone market will become even more intense and exciting. To stand out among the many excellent domestic flagships, strong capabilities are essential. We look forward to Apple, OPPO, and other mobile phone manufacturers bringing more amazing products in 2024.