Samsung retakes the global smartphone crown

Samsung has reclaimed its title as the leader in global smartphone shipments after being briefly surpassed by Apple in 2023. Preliminary data from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Mobile Phone Tracker for the first quarter of 2024 shows Samsung back on top, a position it has held since 2010.

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Samsung shipped 60.1 million units worldwide in the first quarter, securing 20.8% of the market share. In comparison, Apple shipped 50.1 million units, accounting for 17.3% of the market. Both companies experienced declines from the first quarter of 2023, with Apple’s drop being more pronounced (-9.6%) than Samsung’s (-0.7%). The top five brands remained consistent with Xiaomi shipping 40.8 million units, Transsion reaching 28.5 million units, and OPPO at 25.2 million units shipped. Notably, Transsion surpassed OPPO to take fourth place.

IDC views these figures as a sign of the smartphone market’s strengthening. “Firstly, we observe growth in value and average selling prices (ASPs) as consumers choose higher-priced devices, understanding they will keep them for longer,” stated Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team. “Secondly, there is a shift in power among the top five companies, which will likely persist as market players adapt their strategies in a post-recovery world.”

Popal noted Xiaomi’s strong comeback from significant declines over the past two years and Transsion’s continued presence in the top five with aggressive growth in international markets. Despite negative growth for the top two players, Samsung appears to be in a stronger position overall compared to recent quarters.