Samsung reacts to Apple overtaking it in the smartphone industry: “By 2024, we will surpass the market.”

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Following an International Data Corporation (IDC) report that revealed that Apple overtook Samsung in December 2023 to become the largest smartphone company in the world, Samsung Electronics has promised to bounce back and outpace the global smartphone market in 2024 with its revolutionary Galaxy S24 Series.

This assertion was made by the Head of Mobile Division for Samsung West Africa, Joy Tim-Ayoola, while fielding questions from this reporter at the unveiling of the Galaxy artificial intelligence smartphone in Lagos.

Quizzed for a response to the IDC report, which shows that market rival Apple has overtaken Samsung as the largest smartphone maker in the world, and whether she expects sales from the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S24 series to help the company regain the top spot, Tim-Ayoola appears to suggest the timing of the IDC report to coincide with Samsung’s launch of a revolutionary smartphone was uncanny.

“Did you wonder why the company had to release such information in less than 24 hours when I (Samsung) had to change the revolution of what a smartphone would be?” she asked.

Joy Tim-Ayoola, Head of Mobile Division for Samsung West Africa

Explaining why she was optimistic that Samsung would reclaim the top spot, she noted that the premium smartphone segment is increasing year-on-year in Nigeria and globally, despite the tough economic situation. While admitting that this growth cuts across every range and maker of premium smartphones, she emphasised that Samsung is still the leader in that particular space. Thus, the company is banking on its leadership in that space to return to its coveted spot.

One thing we have predicted is that for this year, we are going to see about a 6.6 per cent growth and coupled with the impressive growth we have on the S23 versus the S22, we know that we are going to outpace the market. So we will define the growth again with this (Galaxy S24 series). Just put the numbers at the base and you will see what Samsung AI device will do.

Joy Tim-Ayoola

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S24 series at a colourful Unpacked event held in Lagos on Wednesday. The phone has been touted as the world’s first fully artificial intelligence smartphone. The smartphones in the series include the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24.

According to the company, the Samsung Galaxy S24 series is unleashing new mobile experiences with Galaxy AI. It believes the Galaxy S series is leading the way into a new era that will forever change how mobile devices empower users.

Speaking at the unveiling, President and Head of Mobile Experience Business at Samsung Electronics, TM Roh said the Galaxy S24 series transforms users’ connections with the world and ignites the next decade of mobile innovation.

“Galaxy AI is built on our innovation heritage and deep understanding of how people use their phones. We’re excited to see how our users around the world empower their everyday lives with Galaxy AI to open new possibilities,” he said.

Samsung losing smartphone market leadership to Apple

According to the IDC report, Samsung lost its 14-year dominance of the smartphone market to Apple in December 2023. Apple’s rise is, however, notable because it depicts signs of recovery in the industry. The overall global smartphone shipment faced challenges with a 3.2% year-on-year decline, reaching 1.17 billion units in 2023, the lowest in a decade. However, a positive trend emerged in the fourth quarter, surpassing the projected 7.3% increase with an 8.5% upswing to 326.1 million units shipped in the quarter, hinting at a potential rebound.

Apple’s ascent to the pinnacle of the global smartphone industry over Samsung is credited by the IDC to the escalating demand for premium devices, which constitutes more than 20% of the market. Apple’s sustained rise is propelled by initiatives such as enticing trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans. Negotiating challenges adeptly has positioned the Cupertino-based tech giant as a frontrunner in the ever-evolving dynamics of the global smartphone landscape.