Great news for fans of iPhones with large 6.7-inch screens! In 2023, Apple’s iPhone Pro models have made a mark by securing the highest global annual shipments for the first time. According to Canalys, a market analysis firm, the iPhone 14 Pro Max claimed the title of the best-selling smartphone globally in 2023, closely followed by the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This reflects a notable shift towards premium market preferences and underscores the continued dominance of iPhones, with seven of the top 10 spots taken by Apple devices.
The Shift Towards Premium Smartphones: iPhone Pro Max Takes the Lead
What makes this achievement even more interesting is that, in the year when an iPhone Pro model led global shipments for the first time, it was the latest Pro Max models from Apple that took the top positions, not the smaller 6.1-inch Pro models. This suggests a deliberate strategy from Apple, highlighting the intentional emphasis on the Pro Max line’s features over the Pro line, contributing to the growing distinction between the two.
When comparing the iPhone 15 Pro to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it’s evident that Apple’s most expensive model offers more than just a larger version of the standard Pro. The Pro Max comes with exclusive features, including a 5x optical zoom, along with advantages like extended battery life, a bigger screen, and other enhancements. Notably, the base iPhone 15 Pro Max also provides 256GB of storage, surpassing the 128GB found in the standard Pro.
Despite Apple’s flagship models leading in shipments, the standard iPhone 13, 14, and 15 are not far behind. Additionally, there are three Android phones in the list, introducing some variety. Among them are the Samsung A14 4G and, surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. The latter is a more expensive model, deviating from the usual trend where cheaper Samsung phones tend to dominate the annual shipments list for Android devices.
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Last year, there were strong indications that the iPhone Pro Max series was becoming the world’s most popular smartphone. Global analysts from Omdia revealed that the iPhone 14 Pro Max topped shipments in the first half of 2023. The latest data from Canalys now confirms it – Apple’s largest phone, the iPhone Pro Max, is indeed the world’s most popular smartphone.
Factors Affecting the Tremendous Sales of the iPhone Pro Max
Several factors likely contribute to this. Firstly, people are upgrading their smartphones less frequently, causing a two-year decline in global phone sales, as indicated by a recent Counterpoint study. However, when users decide to upgrade, there seems to be a preference for larger and more premium phones.
As reported by IDC and Canalys, this trend led to Apple surpassing Samsung in global smartphone shipments for the first time in 2023. According to IDC’s research director Nabila Popal, Apple’s success is due to the “increasing trend of premium devices, which now represent over 20% of the market.” The fuel behind this shift is due to aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans.
Despite the iPhone 15 Pro Max quietly gaining popularity throughout the year, this new data sheds light on its remarkable success, marking a significant change in smartphone popularity.
The question now is whether this trend will continue in the current year. Rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro inheriting some key features from the Max, such as its periscope zoom lens, have surfaced. Additionally, iOS 18’s rumored AI upgrades are said to be introduced across the entire iPhone 16 range. It remains to be seen whether the Max’s popularity in 2023 is just a temporary surge or a long-term shift towards larger phones that were once referred to as ‘phablets’.
2024 is already here and we all wait to see the outcome of the iPhone Pro Max series. As soon as the data is out, we will let it out for all to see whether this will be an actual shift or just a short-time trend.