US Smartphone Shipments Decline in Q1 2023 Amid High Inflation, Inventory Correction; Apple Share Up

  • Shipments declined 17% YoY in Q1 2023 due to inventory correction and weak consumer demand.
  • Apple increased its market share to 53% in Q1 2023 from 49% in Q1 2022.
  • The uncertain economic outlook forced consumers to hold off on new device purchases.
  • Some niche categories like foldables may continue to perform well despite overall weakness.
  • Incumbent postpaid players may increase promotional activity during H2 to take on cable MVNOs.

Denver, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 8, 2023

Smartphone shipments in the US declined 17% YoY in Q1 2023 as OEMs corrected high channel inventory and as consumer demand declined due to macroeconomic pressures. The market witnessed a dip in shipments across all major OEMs after registering a strong first quarter last year. However, Apple managed to increase its market share despite a YoY drop in its shipments.

Counterpoint-Research-US-Smartphone-Shipments-Q1-2023Counterpoint US OEM Share Q1 2023

Commenting on the situation, Research Analyst Matthew Orf said, “Inflation started impacting the US smartphone market in H2 2022, especially the low end where consumers have less disposable income and are more sensitive to changes in prices. Persistent inflation and an uncertain economic outlook are causing consumers to hold off on new device purchases, resulting in lower upgrade rates and fewer device sales, especially in the prepaid segment.”

The impact of inflation and other macroeconomic pressures on the market has been uneven. Senior Analyst Maurice Klaehne noted, “While prepaid brands saw significant YoY declines in shipments, there were some silver linings. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 shipments were up double digits YoY while the Galaxy A14 5G performed exceptionally well in prepaid. The gap between low-end and premium devices seems to be widening, creating a vacuum in the mid-range device category.”

Associate Research Director Hanish Bhatia noted, “Some niche categories may continue to perform well despite overall weakness. For instance, there is a lot of excitement around foldables this year as more OEMs jump onto the bandwagon, which may stir demand for premium devices. Similarly, demand from government-supported Lifeline and ACP programs will largely remain unaffected. But at a broader level, Android-to-iOS migration driven by young and first-time smartphone users continues to remain a key pain point among Android OEMs.”

Commenting on the direction of the US smartphone market, Director of North America Research Jeff Fieldhack said, “During Q1 2023, there was sluggish consumer demand with very low upgrades. We expect the incumbent postpaid players to increase promotional activity during the second half of the year to combat cable MVNOs, which saw higher net additions than the Big 3 during the quarter, a first for the US market.”

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Matthew Orf

Research Analyst



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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Further Reading: 

Global Smartphone Market Declines 14% YoY in Q1 2023; Apple Records Highest-Ever Q1 Share

China Smartphone Sales Fall 5% YoY in Q1 2023; Apple on Top with Highest Sales Share

India Smartphone Market Records Highest Ever Q1 Decline of 19%, 5G Smartphones Contribution at 43%


Samsung Galaxy Book3 Series First Impressions: Sleek, powerful and ecosystem integrated

Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event saw the unveiling of not just the Galaxy S23 series smartphones, but also the Galaxy Book3 series laptops. These laptops aim at offering powerful computing and continuity experience with Samsung ecosystem devices. There are three different models, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro, the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, and the star of the show, the Galaxy Book3 Ultra. We had a few minutes to play around with the laptops, and here are our first impressions.

Galaxy Book3 price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro starts at $1,249 whereas the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 starts at $1,399. These laptops are already available on pre-orders and will start shipping from February 17 onwards. The flagship, Galaxy Book3 Ultra starts at $2,199. Pre-orders for the Ultra start on February 14 and it will go on sale starting February 22.

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy Book3 Series First Look

Sleek design, quad speakers, 1080p cameras

All the Samsung Galaxy Book3 series laptops are built with portability and ease of use in mind. They feature a sleek and slim design, yet pack powerful hardware, which we will talk about in a bit. Both the Pro and Ultra series laptops share similar multimedia features, one where you get a quad-speaker setup. These include two 2W tweeters and two 5W woofers, tuned by AKG and featuring Dolby Atmos certification. They also come with dual stereo-quality microphones and a 1080p webcam. All these are meaningful additions considering the current hybrid work scenario, and virtual calls over platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and more. One of the other interesting things about the laptops is the larger trackpad surface area for more comfortable use when you are not using a mouse for content editing and other stuff.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 ultra trackpad

Designed for work and play: Powerful hardware for everyday use

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra

Talking about the hardware, the Galaxy Book3 Ultra is Samsung’s most powerful laptop in the Book3 series. Under the hood is Intel’s latest 13th gen Core i9-13900H or Core i7-13700H 45W Evo processors, paired with up to 1TB SSD (PCIe 4.0) and up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The laptop also comes with discrete graphics options, where you can choose between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 or the RTX 4070 laptop GPUs. The configuration is good enough for playing casual games and content creation on the go.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 ultra ports

The laptop also features a 16-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 3K resolution (2880×1800 pixels), and 16:10 aspect ratio. In the brief amount of time we used the laptop, the screen was bright and color reproduction was punchy. The screen also supports a refresh rate of 120Hz. To keep things ticking, there is a 76Wh battery, and the laptop ships with a 100W USB-C charger.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro, Book3 Pro 360

While the Galaxy Book3 Pro is available in two different screen sizes – 14-inch and 16-inch, the Galaxy Book3 360 is only available in a 16-inch screen size. On the display side, both laptops share the same AMOLED panel with a 2880 x 1800 pixels resolution. As the name suggests, the Galaxy Book3 360 comes with a 360-degree swiveling touchscreen, and it supports S Pen too, which comes in the box. We tried the S Pen to simply doodle and found it to be quite smooth and responsive, thanks to its low-latency.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 pro 360

The changes come on the processor side, where users can choose between Intel’s 13th-gen 28W processors – Core i5-1340P or Core i7-1360P. The base model comes with 8GB of RAM (LPDDR5) and 256GB storage (PCIe 4.0 SSD), and it can be configured further to 12GB RAM with 512GB storage or 16GB RAM with 1TB storage.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 pro sizes

Book3 Pro 14-inch model features a 63Wh battery whereas the 16-inch variant comes with the same 76Wh battery as the Ultra. These laptops ship with a 65W USC-C adapter, which can also be used to charge your Galaxy smartphone or tablet. The Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 also comes with an optional 5G Sub-6 model to offer integrated connectivity experience.

Connected ecosystem to drive user experience

During the pre-briefing, Samsung spent some time talking about the connected ecosystem experience. All the Galaxy Book3 series laptops are deeply integrated with the Galaxy devices – including the Galaxy smartphones and tablets – Galaxy Tab S7-series and above. We saw some of these demos, and these features surely bring convenience to the ecosystem users.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 ultra samsung ecosystem

Features such as multi-control allow you to control your smartphone right from the laptop. You can copy-paste text, and drag and drop images and files, among other things. Users can also use their tablets as a second screen to extend the laptop display or mirror the screen.

There is a ‘Phone Link’ feature using which you can activate the phone’s hotspot from the laptop itself. You can also continue browsing your web session from Galaxy S23 smartphones to your Galaxy Book3 laptop. Samsung spoke about the Expert RAW app that lets you capture DNG images to edit later in apps like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop among others. With the connected ecosystem and continuity feature, you can now sync RAW files from your Galaxy smartphone to the Galaxy Book3 laptop seamlessly and automatically.

counterpoint samsung galaxy book3 samsung pass

There were two more features that Samsung mentioned during the briefing. The first is the Smart Switch feature which allows users to easily migrate content from the older Galaxy Book to the new Galaxy Book3 series. And lastly, there is also support for Samsung Pass, allowing you to sign-in to websites using IDs and passwords saved on the smartphone.

Key Takeaways:

• The Galaxy Book3 series laptops bring a sleek and slim design.
• These laptops are aimed at every day and productivity users.
• The Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 offers the best of laptops and tablets in one device.
• S Pen support on the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 is a good value addition for taking quick notes, sketching and more.
• The Galaxy Book3 Ultra is a great package for content creators and casual gamers on the go.
• One of the key highlights of the new laptops is the connected ecosystem story and how seamlessly they connect with other Galaxy and Samsung IoT products like AC, washers, TV, and much more.
• Features like multi-screen, Phone Link, and Samsung Pass are good additions showcasing deep integration of services across Windows and Android platforms.

Related Posts

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series First Impressions: Iterative Upgrades, Meaningful Features

At the Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung announced three new smartphones in the Galaxy S23 series line-up. These include the Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. All three smartphones bring iterative upgrades over the previous generation, but Samsung has added a lot of meaningful features that set them apart from their predecessors. We got to play around with the devices ahead of the launch, and below are our first impressions.

Samsung Galaxy S23 price and release date

The Galaxy S23 will start at $799, whereas the Galaxy S23 Plus variant will retail at $999. The premium Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will set you back by $1,199. The smartphones are already available to pre-order and will go on sale starting February 17.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 ultra front

Refined ergonomics, use of more sustainable materials 

All the Galaxy S23 models come with refined ergonomics, where the display now has a flatter edge and rounded corners offering a better grip and in-hand feel when using the devices. The S23 and S23 Plus models also feature a floating camera design, which brings the design in sync.

counterpoint galaxy s23 sustainability

Samsung has increased the sustainability credentials of its flagship smartphones with some improvements over the Galaxy S22 series. The glass, body, power button and volume rocker, and even the casing for the S Pen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra are made from recycled materials, although proportions are still too low to be considered truly sustainable. The Galaxy S23 has 12 internal and external components made from recycled materials (including the recycled aluminium used in the side key and SIM tray), up from six in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. While these are steps in the right direction, Samsung has a long way to go before it can be considered a sustainability pioneer. Read more about our analysis of sustainability here.

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy S23 Series First Look

Qualcomm inside: Powered by exclusive Snapdragon SoC    

The entire Galaxy S23 smartphone line-up is powered by a customized Snapdragon chipset, globally. This is the first generation of the Galaxy S-series with a 100% share for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC, up from 75% in Galaxy S22. It’s clearly a good design win for Qualcomm. Called “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy” the chipset has a max clock speed of up to 3.36GHz, making it the fastest Snapdragon chipset yet.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 qualcomm SD 8 gen 2

The new chipset has a 34% faster CPU, 41% faster GPU, and 49% faster NPU over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Qualcomm and Samsung have closely worked on the chipset to bring features like real-time raytracing, and AI-powered adaptive performance catering to both casual and hardcore gamers’ needs.

The Adreno GPU is also optimized to offer a balance of both power and efficiency. All three smartphones now come with up to a 2.7x larger vapor cooling system, which will help moderate the potential for thermal performance throttling in intensive use cases.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 ultra back

The Qualcomm AI engine paired with the Hexagon processor enables micro tile inferencing to accelerate AI performance. It also unlocks other on-device AI experiences such as echo canceling and noise cancellation for calls.

The Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF system with a 5G AI processor offers better 5G coverage, efficiency, and speeds. The Galaxy S23 Ultra features Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 whereas the S23 and S23 Plus models come with Qualcomm FastConnect 6900, offering ultra-low latency, multi-gigabit Wi-Fi speeds, and high-res Bluetooth streaming capabilities.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 series specs

There are many more camera-centric features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy unlocks, which we will discuss next.

BONUS Video: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: In conversation with Qualcomm’s Alex Katouzian

Upgraded cameras with improved photo and video features

The camera resolution on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus is the same as the S22 series. However, the new Cognitive ISP of Snapdragon SoC enables enhanced features like real-time semantic segmentation, ultra low-light video capture, multi-frame noise reduction, and more. In terms of specifications, you get a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom capabilities.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 ultra cameras

The biggest upgrade comes to the Galaxy S23 Ultra model where you now have a Samsung 200MP ISOCELL HP2 image sensor. With a 1/1.3-inch sensor size and 200-million 0.6-micrometer (μm) pixels, to deliver claimed improved photography and videography experience. The Super Quad Pixel technology uses all the 200-million pixels to offer up to 1.5x faster autofocus. In low-light scenarios, the camera AI can intelligently adapt to combine four or 16 adjacent pixels to shoot photos in 50MP (1.2μm) or 12.5MP (2.4μm) to achieve sharp, bright, and noiseless photos in varying light conditions.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 series camera specs

With the main camera, you can now record 8K 30fps videos for a more cinematic feel. The camera also comes with a 2x wider (3-degrees) OIS that can effectively compensate for the handshake to take blur-free photos and videos. There is also a new astrophotography hyperlapse mode where you can set the timer to a maximum of 300 seconds to capture star trails. There are even more features like AI stereo depth for better portrait mode photos, better HDR for capturing photos against the sun, and more.

Up front, all three Galaxy S23 series smartphones come with a new 12MP selfie camera with auto-focus. The upgraded ISP and AI enhancements also enable better low-light photos and up to 4K 60fps video recording for the front camera. In our limited usage, the cameras impress us, but we could not test all the features and will reserve judgment for our final review.

counterpoint samsung galaxy s23 back

One more addition where the updated Expert RAW camera app now supports up to 50MP high-resolution image capture and front camera 16-bit RAW support.

Overall, the Galaxy S23 series brings a series of iterative upgrades. But the real story is more about the features unlocked by better software and hardware integration. On paper, the new smartphones look like a promising upgrade experience for Android users. More will be revealed in our in-depth devices testing.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Galaxy S23 series is powered by a customized Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy SoC.
  • The refined design of the Galaxy S23 series offers a better grip and in-hand feel.
  • The use of more sustainable materials is a step in a right direction to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Features like real-time raytracing, AI-powered adaptive performance mode, and vapor chamber cooling show Samsung’s seriousness toward mobile gaming.
  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s highlight is the 200MP along with upgraded astrophotography and 8K 30fps videography features.
  • The front camera with features like 4K 60fps videos, and AI stereo depth effects is a good upgrade.

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