Samsung Surpasses Apple in Q1 Sales, Tecno Eyes Top 4 with Africa Surge

In the first quarter of 2024, the smartphone market witnessed dynamic changes once again.

On April 15th and 16th, market research firms IDC and Canalys released their global smartphone shipment data for Q1 2024.

According to Canalys, global smartphone shipments grew by 11% year-over-year in Q1 2024. IDC reported a 7.8% increase to 289.4 million units.

“As expected, the recovery in the smartphone sector continues to move forward, with optimism gradually building among the top brands,” stated IDC.

The rankings released by both Canalys and IDC show Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Tecno, and OPPO as the top five manufacturers. The Canalys report did not specify shipment volumes for these brands, focusing instead on market share.

IDC’s data indicated that Samsung reclaimed its position as the world’s largest smartphone supplier in the first quarter, shipping 60.1 million units and capturing 20.8% of the market, surpassing Apple. Apple’s iPhone shipments decreased by 9.6%, falling nearly 10 million units short of Samsung with a 17.3% market share.

Among the top five, only Xiaomi and Tecno saw their shipment volumes increase. Xiaomi’s shipments grew by 33.8% to 40.8 million units year-over-year, securing a market share of 14.1%, while Tecno, which had the fastest growth rate among the top five, surged 84.9%.

OPPO ranked fifth in market share. Its shipments declined by 8.5% compared to Q1 2023 but showed some recovery from Q4 2023. Vivo dropped out of the top five.

Samsung Surpasses Apple in Q1 Sales, Tecno Eyes Top 4 With Africa Surge

Image Source: IDC Official Website

Market Share Information

Image Source: Canalys Official Channel

Despite Apple’s dominance at the end of 2023, Samsung took the lead in Q1 2024. “Although Apple had a strong finish last year, Samsung successfully regained its status as the leading smartphone supplier this quarter,” said Ryan Reith, Vice President at IDC.

Apple shipped 50.1 million units worldwide in Q1 2024, a decrease of 9.6% year-over-year, while Samsung led with shipment of 60.1 million units and a market share of 20.8%.

Market analysts attribute Apple’s decline partly to the underperformance of the iPhone 15 series, especially in the Chinese market, where intense competition from Huawei’s resurgence and continuous efforts from OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi have squeezed Apple’s market share.

China remains one of Apple’s largest markets. Earlier this year, Apple made headlines with significant price cuts on its official Chinese website during the Spring Festival sales, reducing prices on products ranging from iPhones to MacBooks, iPads, and AirPods by ¥50 to ¥800. In March, Apple announced further price reductions to stimulate sales.

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Image Source: IDC Official Website

On January 18th, Samsung released its Galaxy S24 series, with the new Galaxy AI being a major selling point. According to Mobile Europe, market research from Worldpanel ComTech indicates that one-fourth of Samsung S24 users in countries like France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, the US, and Australia cite its unique AI features as a key factor for their purchase. These features include AI-enhanced camera functions and “Circle to Search” which 17% of buyers found compelling.

Analysts predict that as market leaders continue to dominate, smaller brands may look for niche positions. Tecno has shown significant growth, with its shipments increasing by over 80%.

Tecno's Shipment Growth

Image Source: Canalys Official Channel

As for Tecno, reaching an impressive milestone, its revenue and net profits reached historical highs in 2023, demonstrating strong growth even during a downturn in the smartphone industry.

Tecno is often referred to as the “King of African Smartphones.” Since its inception, Tecno has focused on markets in Africa where smartphone penetration is low. The company recently disclosed plans to further expand into other emerging markets, indicating its ambition to bring higher-quality and localized products to these regions.

For further information about smartphone market dynamics and insights into the strategies of leading and emerging brands, please contact Mr. Ding at [email protected].

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