Strong Q1 Global Smartphone Shipments Signal AI-Led Rebound

What you should know


  • The global smartphone market experienced a 10% year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2024, reaching 296.2 million units shipped.
  • Samsung regained the top spot in the market with 60 million smartphones shipped, driven by the success of its mid-range Galaxy A models and the flagship Galaxy S24 series.
  • Apple saw a 16% decline in iPhone shipments, dropping to second place with 48.7 million units shipped during the first quarter of 2024.
  • The introduction of AI features and early market strategies, such as the earlier launch of the Galaxy S24, are highlighted as key factors in driving the strong performance of Samsung and potentially reshaping the smartphone industry.


Full Story

Oh, 2024 kicked off with a bang in the smartphone world, didn’t it? Shipments soared by 10%, reaching a whopping 296.2 million units. That’s no small feat, especially after a grueling series of 10 tough quarters. And guess who’s leading the pack? Samsung, that’s who. They managed to ship 60 million smartphones. What drove this surge? Their new mid-range Galaxy A models and the flashy launch of the Galaxy S24 series.

Apple, on the other hand, found itself in a bit of a pickle. They shipped 48.7 million iPhones during the first quarter, which sounds impressive until you realize it’s a significant drop. Yep, they fell back to second place, with a double-digit decline in units delivered. Ouch.

Now, let’s talk about Samsung’s strategy. Canalys Senior Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia put it quite eloquently. The launch of the S24 series wasn’t just another product rollout. No, sir. It was a pivotal moment for Samsung, especially in terms of AI and premium strategy. They even pushed the release a month earlier than last year’s S23, shipping 13.5 million units right out the gate. That’s a 35% jump in shipments compared to its predecessor. Impressive, right?

Chaurasia didn’t stop there. He highlighted the “pull factor” from Galaxy AI, the extensive retail network, and a smarter time-to-market strategy. All these elements combined to propel the Galaxy S24’s success. But it’s more than just a win for Samsung. It signals a shift in the entire industry towards AI-driven innovation. Samsung’s not just resting on its laurels, though. They’re planning to double down on Galaxy AI, aiming to solidify their premium status and keep customers coming back for more.

Switching gears, let’s glance at the overall market dynamics. Samsung’s market share dipped slightly to 20%, despite leading the pack. Apple saw a more significant drop, from 21% to 16%. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is on the rise, with shipments up 33% and market share climbing to 14%. And have you heard of Transsion? They’re the dark horse here, with an 86% surge in shipments. Lastly, there’s Oppo, rounding out the top five despite a 6% dip in shipments.

So, what’s next for the smartphone market? If the trend towards AI continues and manufacturers keep innovating, we might just see this rebound stretch into 2025. Fingers crossed, eh?

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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