A customer checks the iPhone 14 Pro Max inside the Apple Store in Marunouchi, Tokyo.
Stanislav Kozhiko | SOPA Pictures | Light Rocket | Getty Images
The iPhone 14 was the most shipped smartphone in the first half of the year, according to research firm Omdia, reflecting a shift in consumer buying habits toward the most advanced devices on the market and away from low-to-mid-range phones. .
From January to June, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max shipped 26.5 million units — the most of any model from any manufacturer — compared to shipments of 21 million units for the iPhone 14 Pro.
This is according to Omdia’s “Smartphone Model Market Tracker – 2Q23” report, which tracks sales of different phone models.
Apple took over all four of the most shipped models, with the iPhone 14 coming in third with 16.5 million units, and the iPhone 13 selling 15.5 million units.
There was a noticeable difference in the phones that captured the largest share of the entire market.
Last year, the iPhone 13 was the best-selling device on the market, which indicates that consumers are still buying flagship devices but at the entry level rather than the higher end.
This year, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s most expensive smartphone lineup, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, took the crown.
It reflects a growing shift among consumers towards the higher end segments of the market.
Phones haven’t changed dramatically over the past few years, and manufacturers have chosen to launch more incremental upgrades for their devices with a focus on camera upgrades and more powerful chips.
This has led to a general feeling of malaise among consumers when it comes to smartphones, which today have become an essential device for both work and personal life.
The high $1,000 prices associated with high-end phones from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi have also kept people away from buying flagship phones in general.
To this end, consumers hold onto their devices longer and wait until they reach a point in their lives when they feel they need to replace their phones – usually when they break.
But people are more willing to pay higher premiums for the most expensive companies’ devices in this range, because they want to upgrade with the best features in the market.
The Samsung Galaxy A14 was the fifth best-selling phone in the first half with 12.4 million units shipped.
The South Korean tech giant’s top model in its current range, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, was the sixth best performer with shipments of 9.6 million units.
Devices from Chinese manufacturers did not appear in the top 10 smartphone shipments, with Omdia noting that Chinese smartphone shipments experienced double-digit declines as of 2022 due to the slump in the mid-to-low-cost smartphone market.
These numbers are an important indicator of consumer sentiment when it comes to smartphones, especially as Apple prepares to launch its new iPhone 15 in the fall.
Apple is expected to see flat or slightly lower shipments of its iPhones overall this year, according to Omdia.
However, Jose Hong, Omdia’s senior research director, said the Pro and Pro Max models are expected to continue to increase “due to strong demand for premium models.”
Global smartphone shipments will drop 6% year-on-year to 1.15 billion devices, marking the worst performance in a decade, according to previous data from Omdia.
Apple shares rose 0.5% on Monday. The company’s shares have risen by about 37.5% since the beginning of the year so far.