Samsung Became Biggest Smartphone Brand, Now Apple is No Longer are No. 1

Apple gave up the title of the biggest smartphone maker in the world to a rival, Samsung, during quarter-one of 2024’s first quarter, after the world’s iPhone sales experienced a sharp decline, the most recent loss for the technology giant since the beginning of the new year.

Key Facts

  • According to the most recent report from market researcher IDC, the number of iPhones sold by Apple decreased by 50.1 million units during the quarter-start of 2024, a drop of 9.6 percent year-on-year.
  • The sharp decline in Apple’s stock occurred despite the smartphone market expanding by 7.8%, driven predominantly by the vast shipments of smartphones produced by Chinese companies.
  • The decrease in iPhone sales indicates that Samsung has become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in the initial three months of the year and had 60.1 million shipped.
  • Despite beating the iPhone maker, Samsung’s smartphone sales have decreased by 0.7 percent yearly.
  • Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi maintained its status as the third largest phone manufacturer while its production increased by a staggering 33.8 percent.
  • Another Chinese company, Transsion, manufactures smartphones cheaply in high demand across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Latin America saw its first quarter shipment almost triple from 15.4 million in 2023 to 28.5 million in the current year.

What To Watch Out For

Apple shares fell 1.18 percent in premarket trading on Monday. Apple’s stock has experienced the worst year in 2024, dropping by nearly 5% since the beginning of this year.

Key Ground

Apple has been ranked as the most valuable business and stricken by negative news since the beginning of this year. In January, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research reported that iPhone sales in China decreased by 24% over the beginning of 2024’s first six weeks.

This is a significant setback for the company since China is responsible for more than 15 percent of sales. Apple has also been reported to have dropped a decade-long, ambitious, and costly internal project to create a self-driving automobile earlier in the year.

This month, the Justice Department and multiple U.S. states filed lawsuits against Apple, accusing them of violating antitrust laws with its restrictive policies that have harmed consumers and competitors.

Apple’s investors are also worried about its artificial intelligence initiatives compared to rivals such as Google, Microsoft, and Meta.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had meetings with Google to discuss the possibility of integrating Google’s Gemini AI service into the iPhone. This could indicate that Apple’s internal AI efforts are still far from those of its competitors.

Apple vs Samsung

In a significant shift in the world of smartphones, Samsung has dethroned Apple to be the largest smartphone brand in the world for the very first quarter of 2024.

This change occurred after iPhone sales experienced a dramatic decrease of almost 10% yearly, per data provided by the market research company IDC.

Despite this negative result for Apple, the smartphone market saw a rebound, and shipments increased by 7.8 percent to 289.4 million units.

Samsung’s Victory And Apple’s Demise

Samsung’s rise to the top position was helped by the booming sales of its new Galaxy S24 series smartphones, which helped propel the company to an impressive 20.8 percent market share.

However, Apple slipped to second position with a 17.3 percent share, selling 50.1 million iPhones in comparison to 55.4 million in the same time last year.

Notably, Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Huawei have also seen growth in the market, with Xiaomi ascending to third place with a 14.1 percent market share.

Challenges Facing Apple

The decrease in iPhone sales highlights the challenges Apple faces in critical markets such as China. The restrictions that the government and corporate agencies impose regarding the usage of Apple devices have limited sales.

Furthermore, Apple is struggling to keep its market share in China despite launching the new iPhone model in September last year.

Strategies To Increase Sales

To counteract the decrease in unit sales, Apple has resorted to offering discounts ranging from $180 off the regular price through its retail partners in China to boost demand.

In addition, the company could be content knowing that the sales of its high-end iPhone 15 Pro models likely have contributed to a higher profit per unit.

Trends That Are Emerging In The Mobile Market

Nabila Popal, director of research at IDC, said that the smartphone market is changing as consumers increasingly turn toward premium smartphones that will be kept for extended periods.

This is evident in the increasing cost of selling smartphones. However, Apple faces fierce competition from Android competitors in various categories and requires a review of its strategies to ensure its position as a significant competitor.

While Samsung rejoices in its rise in the smartphone market, Apple grapples with issues that threaten its position as the dominant player; the constantly changing global smartphone market requires both majors to afford and keep up with an ever-changing business.

Last Word

According to a research firm, global smartphone sales rose 7.8 percent year-over-year, reaching 289.4 million units during the quarter-start of 2024’s first quarter;

Counterpoint Research recently separately forecasted that smartphone sales worldwide in 2024 will increase slightly by 3%, year-over-year, to hit 1.2 billion.

IDC reported that the sector isn’t “completely free of its troubles” because of the macroeconomic issues in several markets. The third quarter of increased shipment growth is a “strong sign” of a well-established recovery.

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