January Marks 14th Consecutive Month of YoY decline in US Smartphone Sales

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The US market continued its downward sales trend in January 2019. November of 2017 was the last month that showed a YoY volume gain

SAN DIEGO and BUENOS AIRES, Argentina and LONDON and NEW DELHI and HONG KONG and BEIJING and SEOUL, South KoreaMarch 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ –
Smartphones sell-through in the US market fell 2.7% year-on-year (YoY) in January 2019 to 13.7 million units, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse program. This is the 14th consecutive month of YoY decline in sales and the second successive year when sales were down on a YoY basis in January.

Commenting on the slowdown, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director stated, “There are a few reasons for the sluggishness of the US market in January. First, there were no flagship stockouts exiting 2018. There were near normal premium device channel inventories. On the prepaid side, the US government shutdown delayed the potential early tax season bump in sales. Prepaid and national retail tax season promotions were pushed from late January to mid-February. However, early indications suggest the prepaid bump was small in 2019.”

OEM news during the month:

  • Apple crept 1% higher in market share. Its sales mix shifted towards the iPhone XR. Sufficiently large display and the lower price called out as major drivers.
  • Samsung’s Note 9 was the top selling Android smartphone. Despite the continued strong showing from the Galaxy S9, Samsung lost some share as many consumers waited for the launch of the S10.
  • LG gained share with decent V40 sales. However, most of the gains were because of LG devices were selling well within prepaid—such as the LG Stylo 4.
  • Motorola was hurt by the continued weakness within prepaid. The E5 variants remain the company’s top sellers and remain very successful within Boost, Metro and Cricket.
  • ZTE volumes remain a small fraction of what they were before the US sanctions. However, the company did launch a new device within Verizon prepaid channels, the ZTE Visible R2. More carrier launches are expected during the second half of 2019.
  • The top selling premium price tier devices (above US$600) continue to be Apple and Samsung. The Google Pixel 3was a distant third place.

SOURCE Counterpoint Research

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