Apple leads record-high global smartphone revenue in first quarter of 2024

The iPhone 15 series and an improved product mix have boosted the company

Global smartphone revenue hit a new high in the first quarter of 2024, led by Apple and higher sales in key regions around the world, a new study has shown.

Revenue in the industry jumped 7 per cent to reach its highest level for a March quarter,Counterpoint Research said in its quarterly update on Friday.

Counterpoint, however, did not provide estimates on the actual value of the revenue. Smartphone manufacturers typically do not report a breakdown of their sales. Apple’s iPhone sales in the first quarter are estimated at around $69.7 billion, according to industry analysts.

Apple commanded 41 per cent of first-quarter revenue as it also posted its highest first-quarter average selling price of $900, up from $880 a year ago, it added.

Samsung Electronics came in at second with an 18 per cent share, followed by Xiaomi and Oppo, which includes the OnePlus brand, with 6 per cent each, and Vivo with 4 per cent. The four companies’s ASPs were $336, $159, $257 and $211, respectively.

While Apple faced headwinds such as tough competition in China, record-low upgrades in the US and supply chain challenges, “an improved product mix” coupled with the iPhone 15 Pro’s strong performance helped the company, Jeff Fieldhack, a research director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint, wrote in the report.

These allowed Apple to boost its footprint in emerging markets, “arresting some of the declines”, citing these regions provide long-term growth opportunities.

In addition, the expected inclusion of generative artificial intelligence technology into the next iPhones is seen to influence more users to upgrade, Mr Fieldhack said. Apple is widely anticipated to reveal its plans for generative AI at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Smartphone shipments, meanwhile, grew 6 per cent annually to reach about 296.9 million units in the three months ended March, the Counterpoint study said.

Seoul-based Samsung was driven by both the strong performance of its latest flagship Galaxy S24 series and a refresh of its mid-tier Galaxy A line-up, which in turn helped the company achieve its highest-ever ASP during the quarter.

The South Korean company was also able to recapture the top spot from the iPhone maker in terms of units shipped in the three-month period, accounting for 20 per cent of global shipments, the report found.

California-based Apple, slid to second place with a 17 per cent market share, followed by Xiaomi (14 per cent), Oppo (8 per cent) and Vivo (7 per cent).

The overall shipment growth was underpinned by strong performances in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Caribbean and Latin America, Counterpoint said.

The MEA region, in particular, was the fastest growing due to robust shipments of Xiaomi, Huawei’s former sub-brand Honor and Tecno, part of Transsion Group that also owns the Infinix and Itel brands.

Along with Central and Eastern Europe, “consumer demand in these markets has been growing gradually and the inventory levels have improved”, Prachir Singh, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, said in the report.

China and India, the world’s two biggest smartphone markets, also posted year-on-year growth, while the mature markets of North America and Japan declined, the study said.

Smartphones are the most popular consumer electronics devices. The industry has slowed down in the past two years due to several factors, including supply chain issues, high inflation and consumers holding off on upgrading their devices.

However, the upturn is being fuelled by the growth of emerging market economies, a resurgence in consumer spending, an increase in average selling prices and the swift integration of generative AI devices.

“Thanks to the increasing premiumisation, revenue are growing faster than shipments. Further, the shipment growth is being driven by emerging markets,” Tarun Pathak, a research director at Counterpoint, wrote in an email.

“The premiumisation trend is likely to persist, especially with the rise of newer form factors such as foldables and capabilities such as generative AI.”

Source: thenationalnews

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