16-years after the introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007, it is almost impossible to imagine our lives without smartphones. They offer more advanced capabilities and connectivity than the earlier mobile phones that came onto the market in the late 90s.
In 2023, there are an estimated 4.6 billion smartphone users worldwide, and smartphones are used by 96.8% of all internet users, making them the most popular electronic devices today.
Peter Rojas, Co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo, said: “I think the biggest change, and the one we’re already starting to see take shape, is that globally the majority of internet usage will be done via a mobile device and for most people the mobile web will be their primary – if not their only – way of experiencing the internet.”
Key Smartphone Features
In this article, we will explore the most globally shipped smartphones of 2023, but first, let’s take a look at some key smartphone features that are important for user experience:
- Display. We see the world through our eyes, and the bigger and better the smartphone display, the better viewing experience we get.
- Battery life. Battery life varies depending on the smartphone model and usage. Still, a long-lasting battery is essential for those who use their phone frequently, so the bigger the battery, the better.
- Performance. A powerful processor and plenty of random-access memory (RAM) and storage will ensure a smooth and seamless user experience.
- Design and build quality. A well-built and well-designed phone will last longer and look good, so watch as the dust and water resistance rating varies between models.
- Camera. The camera is a device for capturing memories, so the number of megapixels, the aperture, image stabilization, and processing technology are all things to consider.
Best Selling Smartphones Of 2023
Google’s Android continues to rule in the global market with a 70.89% market share in the most recent quarter of 2023, while Apple’s iOS has 28.36%.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the global top ten most shipped smartphones in the first half of 2023, according to Omdia, with two multinational companies – Apple and Samsung – dominating the market:
- iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro Max was the most shipped smartphone worldwide in the first half of 2023, with Apple shipping a total of 26.5 million units. It is the most expensive model in the 14 series that launched in September 2022.
- iPhone 14 Pro. Apple shipped 21 million units of the iPhone 14 Pro. It is the second most expensive model in the 14 series.
- iPhone 14. Apple shipped 16.5 million units of the iPhone 14. It is the third most expensive model in the 14 series.
- iPhone 13. Apple shipped a total of 15.5 million units of the iPhone 13. Launching in September 2021, it is the second least expensive model in the 13 series after the iPhone 13 mini. The iPhone 13 was the most-sold phone of 2022, with 33.7 million units shipped worldwide.
- Galaxy A14. Samsung shipped 12.4 million units of the Galaxy A14 following its launch in January 2023.
- Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung shipped 9.6 million units of the Galaxy S23 Ultra after releasing it, alongside the Galaxy S23 and S23+, in February 2023. In 2022, its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G, also sat at 6th place in this list despite having sold 0.2 million more shipments.
- Galaxy A14 5G. Samsung shipped 9 million units of the Galaxy A15 5G since launching it in March 2023, following on from the Galaxy A14 in January of that same year.
- Galaxy A54 5G. Samsung shipped 8.8 million units of the Galaxy A54 5G following its release in March 2023.
- Galaxy A34 5G. Samsung shipped 7.1 million units of the Galaxy A34 5G after launching it in March 2023.
- iPhone 11. Apple shipped a total of 6.9 million units of the iPhone 11. It is the least expensive model in the 11 series, which launched in September 2019. The iPhone 11 was also in the top 10 of most shipped smartphones in 2022.
Future Predictions for Smartphones
The mid- to low-end global smartphone market is recording negative due to recessions and the growth of the used smartphone market. However, the premium smartphone market is steadily increasing because demand for Apple’s premium models – released annually – remains solid.
We can still expect the amount of global smartphone users to continue to increase, hitting a new peak of 5.1 billion by 2028. Therefore, the capabilities and connectivity of smartphones are also set to surge, which is more than expected due to rapidly changing technological developments across the globe.
According to Tech Advisor, smartphone users can expect to see some new trends by 2030, including:
- Over-the-air charging. Radio waves could soon be used to charge smartphones wirelessly.
- 6G technology. The sixth generation of mobile connectivity could offer download speeds 50 times faster than the 5G some phones have today.
- Folding phones. Foldable phones can change to a different size to perform a specific task and are expected to account for almost 10% of all smartphone sales by 2030.
- More intelligent artificial intelligence (AI). AI is already a key feature in smartphones in the form of Alexa or Siri, but future devices will be even more intelligent, make more complex and human-like decisions, and even understand our emotions.
- Smartphones without ports or buttons. Many of today’s smartphones are already missing the 3.5mm headphone jack to encourage the use of Bluetooth instead, so we can soon expect to see smartphones without any ports or buttons at all, just screens.
Holographic displays. Smartphones could have holographic display technologies that could render 3D images or videos floating above the device and be viewed from any angle without needing to wear 3D glasses.
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