Why iPhone is winning the global smartphone battle | Cult of Mac

Why iPhone is winning the global smartphone battle


iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks
If you bought a top-tier smartphone anywhere in the world, it's almost certainly an iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Premium smartphones are on a roll. Revenue from iPhone and other devices that cost more than $600 grew to the point that they contributed more than half of all revenue from the product category in 2022, according to a market research firm.

That’s to Apple’s advantage, as iPhone sales make up 75% of this category.

Premium devices bring in over half of global smartphone revenue

The global smartphone market is really two markets: budget devices and premium ones. Android is on top of the first one, but Apple dominates the other.

And increasing numbers of consumers who used to buy budget smartphones are moving up to premium ones, reports Counterpoint Research.

The global market for smartphones declined 12% in 2022, compared to the previous year. But premium device sales grew 1% in that same period.

“The premium segment, which has been consistently outperforming the global smartphone market, captured more than one-fifth of total global smartphone sales as well,” noted Varun Mishra from Counterpoint.

Growth in top-tier models isn’t just happening in the United States and Europe. It’s a global trend.

“As smartphones become more central to their lives, people are ready to spend more on their devices and retain them for a longer period,” said Mishra. “This is also one of the reasons the $1,000 and above price segment was the fastest growing (38% YoY) in 2022.”

The result was that revenue from top-tier models made up 55% of the global total, the first time it’s been over half the total.

Premium devices bring in over half of global smartphone revenue
Premium smartphones make up more than half of the revenue from all smartphone sales.
Chart: Counterpoint Research

iPhone revenue makes up 75% of global premium smartphone market

In business, the way the winners are picked is by which companies are making the most money. And, as noted, sales of all premium smartphones now bring in more total revenue than low-cost ones.

Premium Androids have never sold very well, according to Counterpoint, and iPhone now has the lion’s share of the premium market. In terms of numbers of units sold, Apple has 75% of the world total for top-tier smartphones. Android accounts for only 23% and dropping.

iPhone accounts for 75% of global premium smartphone market
Most premium buyers want iPhone not Android.
Chart: Counterpoint Research

iPhone revenue could have had an even larger share except for production problems in the iPhone 14 Pro series during the holiday season.

Samsung is in second place in the premium market, and its sales declined 5% YoY in 2022, according to Counterpoint.


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