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Apple Reclaims Smartphone Crown From Samsung

Apple has returned as kings of the smartphone, following Samsung’s nine month reign as the global market share leaders.

The company’s return during the December quarter was obviously driven by the new iPhone 13, as well as the phone’s uptake in Mainland China, which remains the world’s largest smartphone market.

Apple’s overall marketshare soared from just 12 per cent to 23 per cent, as its supply chain issues lessened, while Samsung dropped from 23 per cent to 20 per cent, sitting at second once again.

“Apple’s supply chain is starting to recover, but it was still forced to cut production in Q4 amid shortages of key components and could not make enough iPhones to meet demand,” says Sanyam Chaurasia an analyst for Canalys, who crunched the numbers.

“In prioritised markets, it maintained adequate delivery times, but in some markets its customers had to wait to get their hands on the latest iPhones.”

Three Chinese manufacturers, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, made up the remainder of the top five.

Other figures, such as the paltry 1 per cent year-on-year increase in global smartphone shipments, suggest that supply chain issues may be the major indicator in Apple’s resurgence. Then again, this follows a September quarter drop of 6 per cent in global shipments, so this entire period might just be seen as an outlier.

“Component manufacturers are eking out additional production, but it will take years for major foundries to significantly increase chip capacity,” Canalys Mobility VP Nicole Peng said of the figures.

“Smartphone brands are already innovating to make the most of their circumstances, tweaking device specs in response to available materials, approaching emerging chipmakers to secure new sources for ICs, focusing product lines on the best-selling models and staggering new product releases.”

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