Global iPhone shipments fell 9.6% in the first quarter, another sign of Apple's woes this year

  • Apple's global iPhone shipments dropped by nearly 10% in the first quarter, a new research report said.

  • Global smartphone shipments rose by 7.8% as Chinese smartphone makers shipped more.

  • Samsung surpassed Apple's shipments by 10 million units in the first three months of the year.

In another blow to Apple, iPhone shipments fell nearly 10% in the first three months of the year, even as global smartphone shipments increased.

Samsung, based in South Korea, beat its American counterpart by 10 million units in the first quarter, according to a report released on Monday by the market researcher International Data Corporation. Samsung regained its top spot as the smartphone maker with the highest shipments, a title it lost in the last three months of 2023.

iPhone shipments are a closely watched metric because the devices comprise the bulk of Apple's sales. The company sold $69.7 billion of iPhones in the three months ending December 31, according to the company's most recent quarterly report. Services came in second at $23.1 billion.

Apple is facing a slew of challenges this year. iPhone sales fell in China, a key market. In recent months, the company abandoned an expensive and decadelong electric-vehicle project, and like other Big Tech companies, Apple was recently hit with an antitrust lawsuit by the US Justice Department.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Global smartphone shipments rose for a third straight quarter, up 7.8% year over year, signaling a rebound in the overall industry. In 2023, annual shipments fell 3.2% compared with the previous year. But in 2022, the annual decline was 11.3%, marking the lowest numbers since 2013 because of weak demand and inflation.

"There is a shift in power among the Top 5 companies, which will likely continue as market players adjust their strategies in a post-recovery world," Nabila Popal, an IDC research director, said in Monday's report. Popal added that though Apple and Samsung "both saw negative growth in the first quarter, it seems Samsung is in a stronger position overall than they were in recent quarters."

Both Apple and Samsung saw a drop in year-on-year shipments, while the Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Transsion saw close to a 34% and 85% rise, respectively, from the first quarter last year, according to the IDC report.

Correction: April 15, 2024 — An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the number of global smartphone shipments in 2023. There was a 3.2% decrease in shipments compared with the previous year, not an 8.1% increase.

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