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IDC says iPhone sales grew 2.5% year-over-year in quarter three

Some iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users have been experiencing ongoing Bluetooth connection issues that have persisted since the new devices launched.

Worldwide smartphone shipments declined 0.1% year over year to 302.8 million units in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23), according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. However, the research group thinks the market is on track for a recovery.

“….we see Apple growing in all regions except China, where it’s facing renewed competition from Huawei as well as heightened macroeconomic uncertainties that are causing consumers who once used to rush for the latest iPhones to pause and think more carefully about their purchases,” says Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

IDC says Apple sold 53.6 million iPhones in 3Q24 for 17.7% global smartphone market share. That compares to sales of 52.3 million iPhones and 17.2% market share in 3Q22. That’s growth of 2.5%. This is interesting as other research groups report a decline in annual iPhone sales. 

China saw smartphone shipments fall 6.3% year over year in 3Q23, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of decline. Climbing youth unemployment, the ongoing real estate crisis, and deflation have significantly damped consumer spending and broader macroeconomic environment in China. 

Elsewhere, shipments in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. declined 8.6%, 5.3%, and 1.1% respectively. But emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America (LA), and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) saw 3Q23 shipment growth of 18.1%, 8.2%, and 1.3% respectively.

“The continued growth in the high-end market feels counterintuitive considering the economic challenges we are seeing across the globe,” says Anthony Scarsella, research director, Mobile Phones at IDC. “Yet the high-end continues to flourish due to generous trade-in and financing options in many developed markets. However, as consumers choose premium models, the refresh cycle will continue to extend. Superior build quality, increased storage, premium features, and longer support cycles drive buyers towards the high-end as these devices last well beyond most affordable models.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.