Apple has surpassed Samsung to become the leading global smartphone manufacturer for the first time in 12 years, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple accounted for over 20% of phones shipped last year, while Samsung held a 19.4% market share. Chinese phonemakers Xiaomi, OPPO, and Transsion followed behind. The IDC reported that smartphone sales declined by more than 3% in 2020, with nearly 1.2 billion units sold, the lowest in a decade. Economic challenges and high interest rates led consumers to tighten their spending. However, experts predict a market recovery this year. Apple, which sold over 234 million phones in 2020, was the only player in the top three to show positive annual growth and secured the number one spot for the first time ever. Despite facing regulatory challenges and competition from Huawei in China, Apple’s largest market, the company’s trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans have driven demand for premium devices. Samsung, on the other hand, experienced disappointing news as its profits are expected to drop due to weak global demand for consumer electronics. The company faces competition from cheaper Android models such as Transsion and Xiaomi, which are popular among price-conscious consumers and emerging markets. The IDC also noted that the smartphone market is entering an interesting phase, with a growing number of Android providers diversifying the market and customers increasingly prioritizing foldable phones and AI capabilities.