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Samsung retakes top spot in Q1 global smartphone shipments as Apple slides to second

Published Apr 15th, 2024 10:36AM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S24 Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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With the Galaxy S24 models out, Samsung regains its spot as the top smartphone vendor. According to IDC Tracker, the South Korean company has the highest smartphone shipments worldwide in the first quarter of 2024. With that, Apple slides to second place.

IDC’s preliminary data shows two trends: Apple is shipping fewer iPhones in the first quarter of 2024, while Samsung’s strategy of releasing Galaxy S24 a little earlier paid off. In addition, the company is already betting on several new Galaxy A models with some AI features.

That said, besides the competition between Samsung and Apple, which have the top smartphone sales, the smartphone market continues to improve. Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, says: “As expected, smartphone recovery continues to move forward with market optimism slowly building among the top brands. 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.”

He continues: “While IDC expects these two companies to maintain their hold on the high end of the market, the resurgence of Huawei in China, as well as notable gains from Xiaomi, Transsion, OPPO/OnePlus, and vivo, will likely have both OEMs looking for areas to expand and diversify. As the recovery progresses, we’re likely to see the top companies gain share as the smaller brands struggle for positioning.”

Top Smartphone sales/shipments Q1 2024Image source: IDC

In the first quarter of 2024, Samsung shipped 60.1 million smartphones, while Apple shipped 50.1 million. While both companies had a YoY negative change, Xiaomi and Transsion saw their business expressively grow, with 40.8M and 28.5M units shipped, respectively.

“The smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years both stronger and changed,” said Nabila Popal, IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team research director. “Firstly, we continue to see growth in value and average selling prices (ASPs) as consumers opt for more expensive devices knowing they will hold onto their devices longer. Secondly, there is a shift in power among the Top 5 companies, which will likely continue as market players adjust their strategies in a post-recovery world. Xiaomi is coming back strong from the large declines experienced over the past two years and Transsion is becoming a stable presence in the Top 5 with aggressive growth in international markets.

While IDC doesn’t talk about top smartphone sales, we can have a good idea that these phones are selling well thanks to their shipments. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t disclose their numbers.

What we know is that Apple has shipped fewer iPhones than it did last year at this time, which means iPhone 15 sales are probably lower, while Samsung is taking advantage of the Galaxy S24 launch to sell more smartphones.

BGR will keep following the top smartphone sales and what it means for the companies as we learn more about that.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.