Apple tipped to drive premium phone market growth with a little help from an old foe

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(Image credit: Future / Palash Volvoikar)

With smartphone sales having slumped of late it's now thought that both Apple and an old foe, Huawei, will be the driving force behind a rebound of fortunes across the premium segment.

Amid Apple's struggles to sell iPhones in China of late, it's Huawei that has found itself the biggest winner, taking marketshare from multiple companies including Apple. But it's the two companies that are set to rescue premium smartphone sales as a whole according to a new report.

That report claims that global smartphone shipments in 2024 are expected to increase by 3% to reach 1.2 billion units, with the market thought to have bottomed out.

No way, Huawei?

Sure to be driven by iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro sales ahead of the launch of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro, Apple is tipped by Counterpoint Research to be one of only two companies leading the charge this year.

"Apple and Huawei are likely to lead the premium segment’s growth," the report explains. "The steady demand for iPhones, particularly in emerging markets such as India and MEA, will drive Apple’s growth."

As for Huawei, it's "expected to retain its strong presence in China’s smartphone market in 2024," the report adds. "With the release of its 5G Kirin chipset, the brand will continue to see a sturdy demand in China."

There's further good news for phone makers, with Counterpoint believing that things can only get better from here on out. "For the longer term, we expect low-single-digit YoY increases for global smartphone shipments as the market seems to have bottomed out," the research firm says.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.