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July 28, 2020

US Smartphone sales in Q2,2020 falls by 25%

US Smartphone sales  : Q2,2019 vs Q2,2020


During the second quarter of 2020, US smartphone sell-through fell 25% year-over-year, according to Counterpoint Research’s preliminary US Smartphone Channel Share Tracker. 

Prepaid channels were hurt the most during the COVID-19 outbreak despite a higher percentage of stores remaining open compared to postpaid. Postpaid channels declined 20%, a steep fall but one partly offset by an almost doubling of the percentage of devices sold online. Commenting on Q2, North America Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, said, “Mid-March through mid-April saw the weakest sales as it was the height of the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the US. April was the weakest month for smartphone sell-through as about 80% of smartphone sales channels were closed; sell-through volume was down over 50%.

 Smartphone sales for May through the end of June grew week-over-week. June 2020 sales were stronger than June 2019 sales, which shows the US smartphone market is resilient.” Fieldhack added, “US smartphone sales picked up when the first stimulus checks were received by consumers during the back half of April. Soon after, carrier stores and national retail began opening again which further helped the recovery. There was also a bit of pent-up demand created by the weeks of store closures. Many consumers who may have wanted a new device but still had a functioning phone simply put off their purchase. Finally, US operator net additions will probably not be as disappointing as smartphone sales due to spikes in sales of hotspots, other connected devices, and used smartphones being connected again.”

Talking about OEMs, the sell-through declined for all the major players, however, Samsung remained the strongest with only 10% drop followed by Alcatel at 11%. Whereas, sales of Apple and LG decreased by 23% and 35% respectively. On the other hand, ZTE was the most affected company with 68% dip. Similar story for Lenovo-owned Motorola (62%) and OnePlus (60%), both of which launched their most expensive flagship smartphones in the second quarter of 2020. Further, Samsung Galaxy S20 series activations were 38% less than that of Galaxy S10 series in the first four months. But Apple iPhone SE 2020 sold well as over 30% of buyers upgraded from either iPhone 6s or older models. Interestingly, 26% of new users were one who switched from Android, which happens to be higher than normal Android to iOS