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iPhone sales plummet, Samsung regains top spot

Samsung has regained the top spot after iPhone sales suffered their biggest fall since the Covid-19 lockdown. Apple lost its title as the world’s leading mobile phone seller due to a sharp drop in sales compared with its South Korean rivals.

Until the end of 2023, Samsung retained the title of the largest mobile phone seller for 12 consecutive years, but at that time Apple’s iPhone model sales exceeded it. However, just one quarter later, it was relegated to second place thanks to impressive sales of the Galaxy S24 series, which was launched in early January this year. According to reports, Samsung Galaxy S24 series mobile phones shipped more than 60 million units during this period.

According to data from research firm IDC, global smartphone shipments increased by nearly 8% from January to March, reaching 289.4 million units, with Samsung replacing Apple as the largest mobile phone manufacturer with a market share of 20.8%. Apple’s smartphone shipments fell by about 10% in the first quarter of 2024.

In the first quarter, China’s leading smartphone maker Xiaomi ranked third with a market share of 14.1%. In the last quarter of 2023, Apple’s smartphone shipments in China fell by more than 2% year-on-year.

Is Apple struggling to maintain its position?

The decline underscores the difficulties the U.S. company faces in its third-largest market, with some Chinese companies and government agencies restricting employee use of Apple devices. The action reflects measures similar to those taken by the U.S. government against Chinese apps for security reasons.

Ryan Reith, IDC’s group vice president for global mobile and consumer device tracking, said: “While IDC expects these two companies to maintain their position in the high-end market, Huawei’s resurgence in China and noteworthy Xiaomi, Transsion, OPPO/OnePlus and vivo’s gains could see the two OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) looking to expand and diversify into areas.

“As the recovery progresses, we are likely to see the top players gaining share while smaller brands compete for positioning,” he added.

In November, the tech giant said its revenue fell 1% to $89.5 billion in the three months ended September 30 compared with the same period last year. Likewise, in January, Apple analysts predicted a sharp decline in iPhone shipments this year.

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