Apple First to Capture 8 Spots in List of Global Top 10 Smartphones
In 2022, Apple became the first brand to capture eight spots in the list of top 10 best-selling smartphones, according to Counterpoint Research. The remaining two spots were taken by Samsung. The top-10 list contributed 19% of the total global smartphone sales in 2022, the same as in 2021.
Apple’s iPhone 13 was the best-selling smartphone of 2022, contributing 28% of iPhone sales. It was the best-selling smartphone in major markets such as China, the US, the UK, Germany, and France. Further, the iPhone 13 remained the number one smartphone each month from its launch in September 2021 till August 2022. Price cuts after the iPhone 14 series’ launch further drove the iPhone 13 volumes in developing markets. The iPhone 13 sales were two times more than that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the second best-selling smartphone in 2022.
For the first time, a Pro Max variant of an iPhone series drove more volume than its Pro and base models in 2022. It helped the iPhone 14 Pro Max to capture the third spot in the 2022 list. It was the top-selling smartphone model for September, October, and November of 2022. The iPhone 14 Pro Max sales were led by early adopters and those upgrading to a higher iPhone variant. Major advancements in the iPhone 14 Pro series, such as dynamic island and faster processor, make it more attractive, as the base model is almost identical to the previous year’s model.
The iPhone 12, the best-selling smartphone of 2021, was the oldest model in the top 10 for 2022. Its sales remained robust in the US, Japan, and China. The price cuts with each year’s new iPhone launch increased its value proposition while its 5G capability also played an important role. The iPhone SE 2022, among the most compact phones in the industry, grabbed the tenth spot. Like its predecessor, it managed to sell well in Japan.
With its entry-level models Galaxy A13 and Galaxy A03, Samsung took two spots on the list (fourth and tenth, respectively), one more than the previous year. The two models were the only LTE smartphones to make it to the list. The regional contribution of these models was spread more evenly than in the case of iPhones. Offering attractive specifications for its price (<$250), the Galaxy A13, like its predecessor, continued to perform well. Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), followed by India, contributed the most to its sales. The Galaxy A03 was the most affordable smartphone on the list and the only one powered by UNISOC. The smartphone performed well in developing regions like CALA and the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
Counterpoint Research believes that the share of the top 10 smartphones will increase in 2023 as brands focus on clearing inventory and optimizing their launches. They also expect brands to continue making their portfolios leaner in 2023 to minimize cannibalization. The number of active smartphone models in the global market has already fallen from over 4,200 in 2021 to around 3,600 in 2022. At the same time, brands will focus on their portfolios’ premiumization to translate volumes into profitability.