US Monthly Smartphone Sell-Through Highlights Recovery, Device Spec Trends

Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – February 5, 2021

The US smartphone market showed further resilience during December, building on growth momentum through the fourth quarter to post sell-through similar to last year.

According to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Market Pulse Report, December US smartphone sales came in at 14.9m, in-line with December 2019. Apple drove the market and increased its share of sales by almost one third, offsetting significant YoY declines by almost all major vendors except Samsung.

Conterpoint Research - USA Smartphone OEM Market Share Dec-19 to Dec-20“Apple and Samsung were the only vendors to perform well on a YoY basis, but we saw LG, OnePlus and others improve MoM, buoyed by the popularity of flagship devices during the holiday season,” noted Jeff Fieldhack, Director of US Mobile Devices and Carrier Strategies at Counterpoint. “Not only did carriers have great trade-in and free device deals, but there was a lot of marketing around 5G, with many promotions offering subscriptions to services like Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, HBO Max and other media.”

“The shift to 5G is happening, making these sorts of content bundles a viable strategy for mobile operators. It has helped energize the smartphone market, with 5G device sales now making up around 65% of all smartphones sold in the US.” observed Senior Analyst Maurice Klaehne. “It is helping raise overall ASPs and, of course, device specs.”

Sell-through of the premium ($600-800) and super-premium (above $800) end of the market grew by a combined 54% YoY in December to account for almost two thirds of the overall market. Mr. Klaehne also added, “Consumers’ hardware preferences also moved up towards bigger and better displays, higher memory and processing capacity, and triple and quad camera set-ups. We are seeing many of these trends play out globally, but they have been especially pronounced here in the US.”


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Maurice Klaehne

Jeff Fieldhack

Hanish Bhatia

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