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Apple loses top spot as phone manufacturer to Samsung as iPhone shipments fall, says IDC

(Reuters) – Apple’s smartphone sales fell about 10% in the first quarter of 2024, due to increasing competition from Android smartphone makers aiming for the top spot, data from research firm IDC showed on Sunday.

Global smartphone shipments rose 7.8% to 289.4 million units in the January-March period, with Samsung taking the top spot as phone manufacturer from Apple with a 20.8% market share.

The iPhone maker’s sharp drop in sales comes after a strong performance in the December quarter, when Samsung overtook Samsung as the world’s No. 1 phone maker. It is back to second place, with a market share of 17.3%, while Chinese brands such as Huawei are gaining market share.

Xiaomi, one of China’s top smartphone manufacturers, occupies the third position with a market share of 14.1% during the first quarter.

South Korea’s Samsung, which launched its latest flagship smartphone range – the Galaxy S24 series – early this year, shipped more than 60 million phones in the period.

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Global sales of Galaxy S24 smartphones rose 8% compared to last year’s Galaxy S23 series during its first three weeks of availability, data provider Counterpoint said earlier.

According to IDC, Apple shipped 50.1 million iPhones in the first quarter, compared to 55.4 million units in the same period last year.

Apple’s smartphone sales in China shrank 2.1% in the final quarter of 2023 from a year earlier.

The decline underlines the challenges the U.S. company faces in its third-largest market as some Chinese companies and government agencies restrict employees’ use of Apple devices, a move that reflects U.S. government restrictions on Chinese apps for security reasons.

The Cupertino, California-based company will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, where it will highlight updates to the software that powers iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices.

Investors are closely watching updates on the development of artificial intelligence at Apple, which has so far spoken little about integrating the AI ​​technology into its devices. The company lost the crown as the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft earlier this year.

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(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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