Samsung takes top spot as smartphone market jumps 7.8% in Q1

According to figures from IDC, global smartphone shipments increased 7.8% YoY in Q1, with Samsung sliding back into top position.

Andrew Wooden

April 15, 2024

2 Min Read

In total global smartphone shipments clocked in at 89.4 million units in the first quarter of 2024, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, representing the 7.8% YoY jump.

The figures show Samsung retook pole position, after IDC figures for FY 2023 clocked Apple selling the most handsets.

In general, this represents the third consecutive quarter of shipment growth, which the report says is a strong indicator that a recovery is well underway, while caveating that the industry is not ‘completely out of the woods’ since macroeconomic challenges remain in many markets.

"As expected, smartphone recovery continues to move forward with market optimism slowly building among the top brands," said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "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.

“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."


Nabila Popal, research director with IDC's Worldwide Tracker team added: "The smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years both stronger and changed," said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC's Worldwide Tracker team. "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. In contrast, while the Top 2 players both saw negative growth in the first quarter, it seems Samsung is in a stronger position overall than they were in recent quarters."


The main takeaway is Samsung resurgent position as the top selling manufacturer. IDC figures registered Apple as selling the most phones globally in 2023 despite also being the most expensive – seemingly supporting analyst claims elsewhere that that the premium segment is outgrowing the rest of the smartphone market.

In the first 6 weeks of 2024, stats from Counterpoint showed smartphone sales in China dropped 7% YoY, with Huawei enjoying a whopping 64% sales hike. Apple’s iPhone sales meanwhile dropped 24% in the region.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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