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Even the latest flagships can't bring cheer to Samsung and Google in the US
- US smartphone shipments declined in Q3 2023 when compared to Q3 2022.
- The biggest losers in shipments were TCL, Google, and Samsung, followed by a modest loss for Apple.
- Only Motorola and HMD Global managed to ship more phones despite a decrease in consumer demand.
The US smartphone market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, with a sprinkle of Google, OnePlus, Motorola, and TCL to add some flavor and variety. While the market does not have the most choices, there are still plenty of options for consumers if they want to buy a flagship Android phone or a mid-ranger. But it seems consumers aren’t interested in changing phones that often, as shipments in the US smartphone market declined 19% in Q3 2023.
Counterpoint Research‘s latest US smartphone shipment market report mentions that Samsung, Google, and TCL saw steep declines of 26%, 37%, and 51%, respectively, for Q3 2023 compared to Q3 2022. Even Apple was not spared, with an 11% decline, attributed mainly to a delayed launch of the iPhone 15 series, pushing some shipments into the next quarter.
The only winners were Motorola and Nokia HMD, with a 31% and 17% increase, respectively, in the quarter against the same time a year ago.
According to research analysts, consumer demand for smartphones has remained low despite carriers offering strong promotions. Consumers are opting to hold their devices for longer instead of jumping for upgrades. The reasoning for this has been attributed to improved durability and stronger build quality on phones, marginal upgrades on new releases, and an uncertain macroeconomic environment in the US.
The market is expected to bounce back for Q4, but that is seasonal demand coming from holiday shopping. Overall, demand is expected to remain lower when compared to the same period last year.
Looking at the quarterly data in the infographic above, it doesn’t seem like Apple is losing any steam in the US market, even though demand has weakened. Its share in overall shipments has increased YoY at the expense of Samsung and other players. Even Google is getting squeezed. Surprisingly, Motorola has extended its good run.
We hope consumer demand expands in the future and OEMs can offer better options to users, as a duopoly or monopoly in the smartphone market is not good for the overall health of the smartphone industry and its pace of innovation.