Popular phones in 2023, South Africa and the world

apple iphone 12 pro

We look at what smartphones were popular in 2023 to see how and possibly why they made their way on the popular hit list.

Could it be brand loyalty, design, battery, or price?

Whatever it is, it solidifies smartphone makers on the preferred “let’s buy this phone” list as consumers for some reason continue to knight brand directions in terms of design price and other micro factors that may impact the next wave of smartphone design.

We’ve seen the flips make a comeback, the V-series or fold make a statement and the massive screen, and little bezel phones coupled with compelling camera quality make a compelling statement that tradition sometimes makes more sense. We also spotted tradition maintained and design subtly ignored with the focus shifting inward.

Whatever it is, it seems every brand comes with its own recipe for what the consumer wants, and it’s interesting what consumers want compared to what the brands think they want.

The quick list. 

We took a series of articles, brand quarter reports and coupled them to find a pattern, on which phones were popular not only in South Africa but the globe.

Samsung and Apple appeared to have done something right last year. The pair were competitively popular in the country as well as in several parts of the globe, throughout several financial quarters.

Now this does not mean the devices were superior or had the best designs. A myriad of factors were at play for the most popular which range between availability, function, ease of use, design, and pricing.

While looking at which phones appeared popular we bumped into information on how Chinese smartphones made a massive leap in the country, especially in the African continent, and several parts of Asia. It will be interesting to see Chinese manufacturers snatch market share.

From Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei, to Apple, and Samsung, it seems Apple bagged the most popularity despite slight controversy around the latest iPhone last year.

The Huawei Nova 11 Pro
Huawei watch GT 4

Samsung followed in several parts of the world while coming first in some parts while Apple appeared to dominate on market share.

Samsung is a close competitor to Apple in the country, while brands such as Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Huawei and others compete for market-share rankings globally.

We saw Huawei make a splash with their latest campaign for the Huawei P60 Pro alongside their latest watch series the Huawei Watch GT4.

Samsung also answered the marketing call with a massive campaign on their Flip and foldable series which included better battery alongside a PC-like multitasking smart device.

On the popular list was the release of the iPhone 15, which solidified a shift into titanium and a few other tweaks such as the dynamic island feature including satellite messaging.

Overall. Samsung and Apple appear to compete for first place in various sectors of the globe, while brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Honor, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo, Realme, and others battle for log position in third, fourth, fifth, and onwards.

Overall, it seems people still deem two brands as popular last year, it will be interesting to see how the first quarter of 2024 will play, as several brands are fast on the ready mark to introduce their incoming fleet of shiny and intelligent devices ready to leave jaws dropped.

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