The Korea Herald


Apple’s market share exceeds 25% for first time in Korea

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Feb. 13, 2024 - 15:08

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Apple's latest iPhone15 smartphones (Apple) Apple's latest iPhone15 smartphones (Apple)

US tech giant Apple saw its domestic market share exceed 25 percent for the first time in 2023, slightly narrowing the gap with its archrival Samsung Electronics, despite the global economic downturn and decreased demand, a report showed Tuesday.

Apple’s share rose 3 percentage points on-year to reach 25 percent in Korea last year, according to the data by market research firm Counterpoint Research, while maintaining the No. 2 spot in the Korean smartphone market.

Samsung kept the No. 1 title in the smartphone market on its home turf, but its market share decreased more than 2 percentage points on-year to mark 73 percent, the data showed.

Yet the iPhone maker has recorded a market share surpassing 30 percent in the October-December period and the January-March period each year when it releases a new smartphone lineup.

Apple has been gaining market share in Korea by 1 percentage point each year from 2020 to 2022 and it saw a threefold increase in the share figure last year, thanks to the growing popularity among young smartphone users who favor iPhones over Samsung Galaxy.

When the iPhone 15 series was launched here in October last year, the preorders placed by people in their 20s accounted for about 45 percent, with those in their 30s taking up about 34 percent here.

Compared to its predecessor the iPhone 14 series, the latest iPhone 15's first-week sales surged by 49.5 percent as well.

Samsung's flagship Galaxy S23 series and its latest foldable smartphones -- the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 -- also posted solid sales records by receiving 1.09 million units and 1.02 million units, respectively, in preorders alone.

As the Korean tech giant liquidated some of its mid- to low-priced smartphone lineup due to the rise in raw material prices and sluggish sales, it led to a slight decrease in its domestic market share.

The combined market share of other smartphone manufacturers was around 2 percent. Lenovo-owned Motorola's Moto Razr 40 Ultra, Xiaomi's Redmi Note 12 and UK smartphone maker Nothing Technology Limited's Phone 2 were released last year, but they failed to raise their influence in the Korean market.

Meanwhile, domestic smartphone sales last year were estimated at 14 million units, down 8 percent from a year ago, the Counterpoint Research report showed. The economic downturn is attributed to the pent-up demand for the replacement of new devices, especially among mid-priced phone users.