Global iPhone shipments decline by almost 10% as Apple faces ongoing challenges in 2024Global iPhone shipments decline by almost 10% as Apple faces ongoing challenges in 2024

Global shipments of Apple’s iPhone declined by nearly 10% in the first quarter of this year, despite a broader recovery in the smartphone market, as the tech giant faces intensifying competition from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi.

According to market intelligence firm IDC, Apple’s iPhone shipments in Q1 dropped 9.6% year-over-year, from 55.4 million units in Q1 2023 to 50.1 million units this year. This decline also caused Apple’s overall global market share to slip from 20.7% to 17.3%.

Shares of Apple saw a slight decrease of less than 1% on Monday morning.

However, Apple wasn’t the only company encountering challenges in the quarter. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, also experienced a decrease in shipments, albeit by just 0.7%.

“The smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years stronger and transformed,” remarked IDC research director Nabila Popal in a statement. “We are witnessing growth in value and average selling prices (ASPs) as consumers opt for higher-priced devices, anticipating longer usage. Moreover, there’s a shift in market dynamics among the Top 5 companies, likely to persist as market players adjust strategies in a post-recovery era.”

Despite being the second-largest smartphone maker globally by shipment volume after Samsung, Apple faces mounting competition from Chinese players like Xiaomi and Transsion. Xiaomi witnessed a 33.8% increase in shipments in the quarter, reaching 40.8 million units, while Transsion’s shipments surged by 84.9% to 28.5 million units.

Apple’s business in China has posed challenges over the past two quarters, with iPhone revenue declining by 13% in Q1 and expected to drop further when the company reports its Q2 earnings on May 2.

China represents Apple’s third-largest market, following the Americas and Europe, highlighting its critical importance to the company’s global success.

Geopolitical tensions between the US and China are exacerbating Apple’s difficulties. Bloomberg reports that Chinese officials are increasingly discouraging the use of iPhones and other foreign-made phones in workplaces.

To reduce reliance on China as its primary manufacturing hub, Apple is diversifying its manufacturing operations, with a growing focus on Vietnam and India. CEO Tim Cook recently shared photos from Vietnam on X, formerly known as Twitter.

By Tom Brokaw

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