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Apple Loses its Status as Top Phonemaker to Samsung

Apple has lost its position as the top smartphone maker in the first quarter of 2024, according to the preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The data showed an increase in global smartphone shipments by 7.8% year over year to reach 289.4 million units in the first quarter of 2024. Samsung accounted for 20.8% of the market share, securing the top phonemaker spot, while Apple dropped to the second position, with 17.3%.

IDC is a research firm in the field of information technology and telecommunications. Its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker provides detailed and timely information on the total mobile phone and smartphone markets.

Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, said, “While Apple managed to capture the top spot at the end of 2023, Samsung successfully reasserted itself as the leading smartphone provider in the first quarter.”

The resurgence of Chinese brands, such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Transsion and OPPO, will likely lead the two original equipment manufacturers to search for other areas to expand and diversify their products.

Overall, the smartphone market is witnessing a recovery. Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, said that the smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years “stronger and changed.”

She explained that the smartphone market continues to see growth in value and average selling prices because consumers choose more expensive devices as they know they will keep it for longer periods.

Popal added that there is “a shift in power” among the top 5 companies, expecting this trend to continue as market players adjust their strategies in the post-recovery market.

Although the top 2 players, Apple and Samsung, saw negative growth in the first quarter, Samsung seems to be in a stronger position overall than it was in recent quarters, noted Popal.

Samsung managed to ship 60.1 million phones in the first quarter of 2024, while Apple shipped 50.1 million phones during the same period.

Xiaomi came in the third place with 40.8 million phones, accounting for 14.1% of market share. Transsion ranked fourth with 28.5 million phones, while OPPO occupied the fifth place with 25.2 million phones.

According to Reuters, Apple’s smartphone shipments to China declined 2.1% in the final quarter of 2023, compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

This decline reveals the challenges facing the US tech giant in China, its third biggest market, as some Chinese government agencies and companies restrict their employees’ use of Apple devices, a reciprocal measure to the US government restrictions on Chinese apps for security reasons.

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