Smartphone industry shows signs of recovery with an 11% growth

Best smartphones january 2024 AM AH

Omdia has published its latest smartphone market report. The research firm estimated an 11.6% year-on-year (YoY) increase in shipment volume in Q1 2024. The total shipments crossed 300 million units, showing signs of an industry-wide recovery in sales. Smartphone sales were low between 2021 and 2023 due to various factors.

The smartphone industry is recovering after a prolonged period of stagnation

According to Omdia, 300.4 million smartphones were shipped globally in the first quarter of 2024. The figure is mostly in line with what other research firms estimated. Canalys recently reported a 10% YoY shipment increase, reaching 296.2 million units. Unfortunately, the top two smartphone brands couldn’t take advantage of this industry recovery. While Samsung had a flat line, Apple’s shipments declined 11.5% from the same period last year.

Samsung shipped 60.4 million Android-powered Galaxy phones in Q1 2024, just over the 60.3 million it shipped a year ago. However, its market share dropped from 22% to 20% because the overall market grew during this period. Things look worse for Apple. It shipped 50.7 million iPhones this past quarter, down from the 57.3 million shipments in Q1 2023. Effectively, its market share declined from 21% to 17%. This helped Xiaomi close the gap with Apple.

Omdia’s estimates show the Chinese firm shipped 33.8% more phones in the first three months of 2024, reaching 40.8 million units. With a market share of 14%, it is now just three percentage points behind Apple. The gap was ten percentage points at the start of 2023 when Xiaomi shipped only 30.5 million phones. This might also have to do with Apple’s seasonality, though. iPhone sales are usually low in the first quarter and the highest in the last quarter.

Transsion, which makes phones under Tecno, Itel, and Infinix brands, enjoyed the biggest shipment growth of 111.5% in Q1 2024. This helped it leapfrog Oppo (including OnePlus) and Vivo into the fourth spot. The three firms shipped 27.5 million, 25 million, and 23 million smartphones during this period. Oppo’s shipments declined 5.7% while Vivo registered a 7.5% shipment growth to come closer to its compatriot on the global chart.

Huawei is on the rise

A few years ago, Huawei was threatening to take the smartphone crown from Samsung. However, the US trade sanctions paralyzed it. The company is now a shadow of itself but growing rapidly. Operating solely in its home country China, Huawei shipped 13.1 million smartphones in Q1 2024, up a staggering 104.7% from 6.4 million units last year. It is now the eighth biggest smartphone company globally, sitting behind Honor, a Huawei spin-off.

Motorola and Realme make up the top ten smartphone companies in the first quarter of 2024. These firms shipped 13 million and 10.1 million devices, respectively. Both grew at an identical pace of around 23%. Omdia expects the smartphone industry to continue on its recovery path for the rest of the year, though the growth may slow down in the second half. The market may see polarization in low-end and premium segments, so some companies may disproportionately benefit from this growth.

Omdia Q1 2024 smartphone market recovery signs

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