- Shipments declined YoY for the third consecutive quarter amid weak consumer demand.
- Android smartphone shipments declined 38% while Apple shipments fell 6% YoY.
- Consumers hesitated to purchase smartphones amid economic uncertainty.
- Google and Motorola launched new foldable models during the quarter.
- Low smartphone upgrade rates are likely to persist in Q3 2023.
Denver, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – July 28, 2023
US smartphone shipments declined 24% YoY in Q2 2023, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor data. This was the third consecutive quarter of YoY declines. Android brands like Samsung, Motorola and TCL-Alcatel saw the steepest declines in shipments, while Apple’s shipments were more resilient. As a result, Apple’s share of shipments increased YoY.
US Smartphone Shipment Share by OEM
Commenting on the decline in smartphone shipments, Research Analyst Matthew Orf said, “Consumer demand for smartphones was tepid in Q2 2023, with the summer slump in sales coming early. Despite inflation numbers falling through the quarter and ongoing strength in the job market, consumers hesitated to upgrade their devices amid market uncertainty. We expect this trend to continue through Q3 2023, but the expectations from the upcoming iPhone 15 remain bullish.”
Despite the overall drop in shipments, certain segments of the US smartphone market saw important signs of life in the quarter. Senior Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne said, “In spite of declining smartphone shipments, the foldable market reached important milestones in the quarter. Motorola launched the Razr+, its first foldable device in the US since 2021, and Google launched its first-ever foldable, the Pixel Fold, providing alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy foldables. With new Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold devices coming from Samsung in Q3 2023, foldable shipments could reach their highest level ever in the US in Q3 2023.”
Associate Research Director Hanish Bhatia noted, “Despite fewer shipments from Apple compared to the same quarter last year, the brand’s share of shipments was still up 10% YoY. Apple’s resilience was driven by strong promotions across postpaid and prepaid. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile continued to offer $800+ promo credits for the iPhone 14 while old-generation iPhones were also steeply discounted across prepaid. We are seeing no weakness in the overall promotional activity. In fact, we observed new highs for trade-in credit with Verizon offering up to $1,100 for the Pixel Fold. Google’s Pixel also grew from a small base and launched its old-generation Pixel 6a in the prepaid channel for the first time to compete with the iPhone 11. Both devices were heavily subsidized in prepaid channels.”
Director of North America Research Jeff Fieldhack said, “AT&T and T-Mobile reported positive net adds, but Verizon reported negative net adds within its consumer segment for the second consecutive quarter. The net-add activity remains comparable to last year, but the upgrade rates have been lower, causing overall weakness in demand. Near-record low churn has also had a dampening effect on new device sales. Weakness is likely to continue through the start of Q3 2023, but stronger iPhone 15 demand could offset weakness across Android.”
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) 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.
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