The COVID-19 outbreak in the US resulted in store closures due to the lockdown and stay-at-home orders. As a result, the US smartphone market was down 21% YoY in Q1 2020. Moving into Q2 2020, the economic downturn and delay in tax refunds slowed down the smartphone sales even further. Nearly 40 million workers in the US applied for unemployment over the past few months. This is a strong base that buys prepaid devices, and a lot of them pay cash as they do not have credit cards.
As 80% of the stores were closed, we saw online smartphone sales grow from 13% to 33% in April 2020. That is a good growth after many quarters. But, is it just a temporary boost because offline stores were closed or are we are seeing a longer-term shift in consumer buying patterns?
In the latest episode, “The Counterpoint Podcast” host Peter Richardson and Research Director Jeff Fieldhack discuss the growth of online smartphone sales in the US. The discussion also touches upon how carriers and national retailers are addressing the needs of their customers. While the US market contracted in Q1 and Q2 2020, Jeff also shared his expectations about Q3 and Q4 when Apple is expected to launch 5G smartphones.
Detailed data with monthly split according to country, price band, device type and sales channels can be found here. You can also visit our blog to read about the COVID-19 supply and demand impact on the US market.