The iPhone is dominating smartphone shipments ahead of iPhone 15 release — and that's bad news for Android

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Call it a knockout punch, but it looks like there’s no worthy contender that could match the amount of smartphone shipments that Apple has been able to muster up so far this year.

In fact, Apple’s iPhones claim the top four spots according to the data gathered by Omdia’s Smartphone Model Market Tracker. Earning the top spot is the iPhone 14 Pro Max with approximately 26.5 million units shipped during the first half of 2023, making it the most shipped smartphone.

Even more surprising is that Apple took the top four spots on the list. These estimates bode well for the company’s upcoming iPhone 15 announcement, which is happening on September 12. Given all the excitement and buzz for this year’s batch of iPhones, which are rumored to offer the biggest upgrades in years, it’ll be interesting to see what transpires for the second half of 2023.

Apple dominated the list and easily fended off its closest competition in the Android space. That on its own is shocking given how there were more Android phones on the same list last year. All of this could give Apple a larger piece of the pie as we head into the critical holiday period.

A chart of the most shipped smartphones of 2023

(Image credit: Omdia)

Good news for iPhone 15

Closeup of Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max cameras.

(Image credit: Future)

This list also highlights the fact that consumers aren’t afraid to dish out the dough to get Apple’s smartphones, as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 round out the top three on the list. We could potentially see stronger sales for the most expensive upcoming models, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max / iPhone 15 Ultra, which are all rumored to have higher prices.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max / iPhone 15 Ultra, specifically, has been rumored to start at $1,299 due to all the exclusive features and upgrades it’s expected to get — like a durable titanium frame, periscope telephoto camera, A17 Bionic chip, and much more. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro is also tipped to get a $100 price increase to make its starting price $1,100.

If this report is any indication, Apple could be on track to have stronger shipments for the latter half of the year. Considering how inflation is impacting consumer spending, it’s a sobering reminder people are still willing to spend the money to grab themselves the best phones around. While shipments don’t technically translate to sales, it’s still an indicator for market demand.

Samsung’s the only Android maker to land on the list

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unfortunately for the rest of the field, it’s a one-sided affair with only Samsung being the only other phone maker to make the list. That’s a stark contrast to the same period last year when two Redmi phones managed to make the list.

Shockingly enough, it was the Samsung Galaxy A13 that topped the list for the Korean smartphone maker. Global shipments for the budget phone amounted to 12.4 million units, which actually beat out the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s total of 9.6 million units. The other Samsung devices to round out the list include the Galaxy A14 5G, Galaxy A54 5G, and Galaxy A34 5G.

Pixel phones are noticeably absent

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max versus Google Pixel 8 Pro comparison.

(Image credit: Future)

You would think that Google would somehow make the list with its Pixel phones, but they were noticeably absent in the report. That’s somehow unbelievable given how Google’s been really aggressive with the pricing of its smartphones.

For example, the Google Pixel 7a is one of the best cheap phones money can buy at $499 for a phone with mid-range specs. On top of that, its flagship phone in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro undercut their direct rivals by being $100 less than comparable phones. You would think that this aggressive price undercutting would be enough to spur shipments of its phones, but it doesn’t appear to be the case.

This all puts more pressure on its upcoming Pixel 8 phones to stand out from the field. Considering how Apple’s looking to steal most of the limelight with the anticipated release of iOS 17 and its iPhone 15 announcement, Android makers will need to respond accordingly so that it won’t be a runway for Apple come the holidays.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.