US Market Declines 1.5% in 2Q19; Samsung, LG Weak while Apple Sustains Growth

US Market Declines 1.5% in 2Q19; Samsung, LG Weak while Apple Sustains Growth

Smartphone volumes fell 1.5% during the quarter mainly due to weakness of high-end Samsung and LG flagships. After record pre-sales, the S10 smartphone family sales decelerated.

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August 16, 2019

 

According to the latest research for Counterpoint’s US Smartphone Tracker Q2 2019, US sell through declined 1.5% year-over-year. The US premium market softened with holding periods continuing to increase. Upgrade rates in the Big 4 carriers averaged only 4.5%. The longer holding periods are especially significant within the high price tiers.

The OEMs who gained year-over-year were opportunistic in the low-price tiers or who were opportunistic gaining share with cost conscious consumers. Alcatel, Motorola and Coolpad saw growth in the low-price tiers. OnePlus and Google stole some of the flagship volumes which went to LG and Samsung in the past with devices priced $200 or more under the Korean flagships. Look for carriers to continue to offer more products such as the Google Pixel 3a and OnePlus 7 Pro.

Source: Counterpoint Research – Smartphone Channel Share Tracker Q2 2019

Speaking about the competitive landscape, Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne stated, “Postpaid smartphone sales were weak in Q2. All carriers saw activations fall year-on-year. Smartphone sales have been in a decline for several quarters now as longer holding periods and bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) are affecting sales. We are seeing a shift away from premium devices as Apple showed a YoY increase through the continued success of the XR as its top seller. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 have also picked up sales this quarter, with some prepaid channels beginning the transition from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 7 as the main iOS workhorse.”

Source: Counterpoint Research – Smartphone Channel Share Tracker Q2 2019

Further commenting on the OEMs, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack added, “Samsung declined as Galaxy S10 sales began to waver in Q2. Samsung had a solid launch of the Galaxy S10 series but is now seeing signs of weakness. The S10e had underperformed from the beginning and sales of the S10 Plus and S10 have decelerated. Consumers are holding on to their older devices longer in anticipation of more 5G options coming out second half of 2019 and 2020. OnePlus, Alcatel, and Coolpad showed strong growth YoY. OnePlus launched the 7 Pro at T-Mobile. Alcatel continues to sell high volumes of the TCL LX in TracFone channels. It also gained another channel as it launched the Avalon V in Verizon. Coolpad made gains in Metro by T-Mobile with its Coolpad Legacy prepaid smartphone.”

 

Source: Counterpoint Research – Smartphone Channel Share Tracker Q2 2019

Speaking about display trends, Klaehne commented, “Volumes of six inch and higher displays reached a record 43% share of smartphone sales in Q2 2019. Most Apple and Samsung flagships now come with 6” displays and prepaid devices like the LG Stylo 4 and Motorola G7 series help boost mid and low-end sales. The newly announced Galaxy Note 10 smartphones align with this trend and will continue pushing large display smartphones in the months to come. Samsung also announced it will be ready for a relaunch in September for the Galaxy Fold. The Fold has a 7.3” unfolded display which is unprecedented for a smartphone display size. Samsung has stated it made improvements to the durability of the display and hinge. However, T-Mobile has backed out of selling the product signaling that some carriers are still hesitant about the form factor.”

 

This is an excerpt from our smartphone channel share tracker service across different geographies providing highly detailed insights and analysis – answering the why, backed by a solid granular sales database mapped across different channels – offline and online. For follow-up questions, email [email protected]

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