US Smartphone Volumes Grow 1% YoY in Q3 2021 as Apple Leads; Motorola Becomes Third Largest OEM After LG’s Exit

  • The US smartphone market grew 9% QoQ and 1% YoY in Q3 2021 as it rebounded despite the ongoing component shortages affecting low-end smartphone supplies.
  • Apple retained the number one spot in Q3 2021, with its market share growing to 42%.
  • Both Samsung and Motorola continued to gain due to LG’s exit.

Boston, San Jose, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Buenos Aires – November 2, 2021

The US smartphone market grew 1% YoY in Q3 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. Despite the ongoing global component shortages, OEMs such as Apple, Samsung and Motorola were able to secure enough supply to grow their shares and continue the US market recovery.

Commenting on the overall market dynamics, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “The US market is continuing on an upward trend in 2021. Apple and Samsung continued to lead in Q3 2021, accounting for 77% of total shipments. Both saw strong YoY growth at 9% and 18% respectively. Despite shortages, Apple’s iPhone 13, which was launched late in the quarter, contributed to 17% of the OEM’s total sales in Q3. We expect to see continued strength in iPhone 13 sales as we enter the holiday quarter. Samsung was also able to have a successful launch of its latest foldable devices and has had success in pushing its most affordable 5G smartphone, the Samsung A32 5G, through carriers such as T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile.”

Commenting on market consolidation, Senior Research Analyst Hanish Bhatia said, “Market has consolidated even further among the major brands but OEMs such as BLU, HMD and Wiko continue to cater to low-end MVNO brands dominant in national retail channels, like TracFone, StraightTalk, Simple Mobile and Total Wireless. Carriers too are filling in gaps by increasing the use of white-label devices. There are now four sub-$300 5G white-label devices in the market. This is an important space for the carriers as they want to move their base over to 5G as quickly as possible to help reduce costs and capitalize on their newly built 5G networks.”

Further commenting on OEM dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne said, “Motorola became the third largest OEM in Q3 after capturing share from LG. Top models for the OEM include the Moto G Play, Moto G Power and the 5G-enabled Moto G Stylus. Motorola was less affected by supply issues due to Vietnam factory shutdowns as it manufactures most of its devices in China. TCL and Alcatel branded devices saw a slight decline as 4G chip shortages hindered the production of more devices, especially in the sub-$150 segment. OnePlus became the fifth largest OEM in the US in Q3 due to the success of its N200 5G device early in the quarter. However, it too faced supply issues towards the end of the quarter. Despite this, we expect OnePlus to continue to make gains now that it is in Walmart through the Metro prepaid brand.”

Analyst Contacts:

Maurice Klaehne

Jeff Fieldhack

Hanish Bhatia

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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