South Korean tech giant Samsung overtakes Apple to regain top spot as world’s largest smartphone brand in Q1 2024

Summery: Samsung has reclaimed its position as the world’s largest smartphone brand in the first quarter of 2024, surpassing Apple, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple’s decline in sales led to this shift, with Samsung regaining dominance after a 12-year run as the leading mobile phone seller.

In a significant shift in the tech industry landscape, South Korean juggernaut Samsung has once again ascended to the top, dethroning Apple as the world’s largest smartphone brand in the first quarter of 2024. This revelation comes as a result of a notable decline in sales for Apple, according to data recently unveiled by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

After a 12-year reign as the foremost mobile phone seller, Samsung was supplanted by Apple at the close of 2023, driven by the remarkable success of its iPhone series. However, the tides have turned once more, with Samsung reclaiming its dominance in global market share.

The IDC’s findings underscore a shift in the competitive landscape, with Apple witnessing a decline in shipments, having shipped 50.1 million iPhones in Q1 2024, compared to 55.4 million units in the corresponding period last year.

Global smartphone shipments experienced a 7.8 percent year-over-year increase, totaling 289.4 million units in the first quarter of 2024, according to preliminary data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, remarked, “As expected, smartphone recovery continues to move forward with market optimism slowly building among the top brands.” He added, “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.”

Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, shed light on the evolving dynamics within the smartphone market. “The smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years both stronger and changed,” she noted. “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.”

Popal further highlighted the shifting power dynamics among the top players, with Xiaomi making a robust comeback and Transsion establishing a firm foothold in the Top 5 with substantial growth in international markets.

“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,” Popal concluded.

The resurgence of Samsung underscores the ever-evolving nature of the smartphone industry, where competition, innovation, and consumer preferences continually shape the landscape. As Samsung celebrates its return to the summit, the stage is set for a dynamic and fiercely contested market in the quarters to come.

By Ankur Srivastava

Ankur Srivastava is a Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of QiMedia, QiTech