Apple Is No Longer The World’s Biggest Smartphone Maker By Volume—As Samsung Ships More Handsets In Q1

Published 1 month ago
By Forbes | Siladitya Ray
iPhone15 On Sale in Chongqing
(Photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Apple ceded the position of the world’s biggest phone maker to rival Samsung in the first quarter of 2024 after global iPhone shipments saw a steep slump, the latest setback for the tech giant since the start of the year.


According to the latest report by market research firm IDC, Apple’s smartphone shipments fell to 50.1 million units in the first quarter of 2024, down 9.6% year-on-year.

Apple’s sharp slump came despite the overall smartphone market growing 7.8%—driven largely by booming shipments of smartphones made by Chinese firms.


The drop in iPhone shipments means Samsung became the world’s biggest smartphone maker in the first three months of the year, with 60.1 million shipments.

Despite beating out the iPhone maker, Samsung’s smartphone shipments were down around 0.7% year-on-year.

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi retained its spot as the world’s third-biggest phone maker while its shipments saw a major 33.8% growth.

Another Chinese firm Transsion, which makes low-cost smartphones that are popular in Africa, Latin America and Asia, saw its first-quarter shipments nearly double from 15.4 million in 2023 to 28.5 million this year.



Apple shares were down 1.18% in premarket trading Monday. The company’s stock has had a poor 2024, down nearly 5% since the start of the year.


Apple, which started the year as the world’s most valuable company, has been plagued by bad news since the start of the year. Last month, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research reported that iPhone sales in China were down 24% year-over-year in the first six weeks of 2024. This is a major blow for the company as China accounts for more than 15% of its revenues. Apple also reportedly abandoned a decade-long ambitious and expensive internal effort to build a self-driving car earlier this year. Last month, the Justice Department and multiple U.S. states filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of violating antitrust laws through restrictive policies that hurt competitors and consumers. Apple’s investors have also been concerned about the company’s artificial intelligence efforts, especially compared to rivals like Google, Microsoft and Meta. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple held talks with Google to discuss integrating the search giant’s Gemini AI service into the iPhone—a likely sign that Apple’s internal AI efforts are still significantly behind its rivals.