US smartphone market declines but iPhone remains steady

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New research claims that US smartphone shipments have declined 8% year over year, yet Apple’s iPhone has stayed steady at 52% of the market.

Delays over Apple’s iPhone 14 saw its sales boost come late, which has now affected yearly comparisons

Even if 52% of the market really does not constitute a monopoly, figures from Counterpoint Research say the market is shrinking. As well as the 8% drop between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024, the US smartphone market has now declined for six consecutive quarters.

However, one reason for the latest quarter’s decline is that there was a significant sales difference in the same period in 2023 because of a difficult 2022 holiday season, supply-wise. The iPhone 14 range that was launched in 2022 had been hit by COVID-related production delays, so it saw its main sales later than usual.

Comparing smartphone sales in 2023 and 2024 (Source: Counterpoint)

Counterpoint says this accounts for most of the 8% decline. But it also attributes some of the decline to pressures in the sub-$300 part of the market, where sales of Android phones dropped.

That said, Android-maker Samsung saw its best Q1 in four years. The company grew its market share to 31% on the back of the launch of its Galaxy S24 smartphone series.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, Counterpoint analysts believe that a recovery in the market won’t take place until at least Q3. That’s when new models of smartphone, most notably Apple’s iPhone 16 which is may see a boost in sales from AI features.

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