Apple leads smartphone market in third quarter with 43% of industry revenue

US technology company Apple led the global smartphone market in the third quarter with a nearly 43 per cent share of the industry’s total revenue, its highest-ever for a September quarter, according to a new report.

Sales of its iPhone accounted for about 49 per cent of the company’s total revenue in the quarter that ended on September 30, Counterpoint Research said in a Friday note.

Phone sales surged nearly 2.7 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, to more than $43.8 billion, close to analyst estimates of $43.81 billion.

This was despite the company’s latest iPhone 15 series being available for one fewer week in July-September 2023 than its predecessor in the same period last year.

In September, Apple launched four devices – the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

“Pro Max being the best-selling variant of the iPhone 15 series contributed to Apple also achieving its highest-ever third quarter operating profit,” Harmeet Singh Walia, senior analyst at Counterpoint, said.

Apple’s market value topped $3 trillion in June, anchoring its position as the world’s most valuable company. It stood at $2.75 trillion on Friday.

However, revenue recorded by the global smartphone market remained flat on a yearly basis in the third quarter to more than $100 billion, despite growing by 15 per cent compared with the second quarter, Counterpoint research revealed.

South Korean manufacturer Samsung’s average selling price of phones jumped 4 per cent on an annual basis in the third quarter, driven by the launch of Fold 5, increased momentum in S23 series’ sales, and a higher flagship share in major product line-ups, Counterpoint said.

However, an 8 per cent shipment decline during the period offset the price increase, causing Samsung’s revenue to drop by 4 per cent annually. It captured nearly 18 per cent of the industry’s revenue in the last quarter.

It was followed by Chinese brands Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

Counterpoint also said that the “full impact” of the iPhone 15 series remains to be revealed, especially as consumers approach the holiday season when users are likely to upgrade from their iPhone 11 and 12 devices.

Although the initial performance of the latest iPhone series in China was somewhat lacklustre in the launch quarter, primarily due to a shorter pre-holiday shopping window and supply mismatches, the year-ending quarter could potentially show improvement.

This is expected to be driven by a strong performance during the 11.11 (November 11) sales event in China, which is likely to benefit not only Apple but also other Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Counterpoint said.

Updated: November 04, 2023, 5:00 AM