Samsung overtakes Apple as top phonemaker after iPhone shipments drop

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Samsung has overtaken Apple as the phonemaker after Apple experienced a roughly 10% decline in smartphone shipments, attributed to heightened competition from Android manufacturers vying for dominance, according to data from research firm IDC released on Sunday.

Despite this, global smartphone shipments saw a 7.8% increase to 289.4 million units between January and March. Samsung, now holding 20.8% market share, surpassed Apple to become the leading smartphone maker.

This decline follows Apple’s impressive performance in the previous quarter, where it briefly claimed the top spot from Samsung. However, with a 17.3% market share, Apple now sits in second place as Chinese brands like Huawei gain traction.

Xiaomi, a prominent Chinese smartphone manufacturer, secured the third position with a 14.1% market share in the first quarter.

Samsung’s latest flagship lineup, the Galaxy S24 series, launched at the beginning of the year, contributed to the company shipping over 60 million phones during the period. Sales of the Galaxy S24 series surged by 8% compared to the previous year’s model, according to data from Counterpoint.

During the first quarter, Apple shipped 50.1 million iPhones, a decrease from the 55.4 million units shipped in the same period last year. This decline also reflects a 2.1% shrinkage in Apple’s smartphone shipments in China during the final quarter of 2023, indicating challenges in the company’s third-largest market.

Some Chinese entities, including government agencies, are limiting the use of Apple devices among employees, echoing similar restrictions imposed by the U.S. government on Chinese apps citing security concerns.

Looking ahead, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June is expected to showcase updates to its software ecosystem, including that powering iPhones and iPads. Investors are particularly interested in advancements in artificial intelligence, an area where Apple has been relatively reserved. Earlier this year, Apple ceded its title as the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft.

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