US smartphone sales down 25% in Q2, iPhone SE a bright spot

NEW YORK: The smartphone sales in the US fell 25 per cent in the second quarter as retails stores remained closed owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, affecting all brands although the newly-launched iPhone SE was the bright spot.

Apple was down -23 per cent, LG -35 per cent and Samsung sales were down -10 per cent, according to Counterpoint Research’s preliminary “US Smartphone Channel Share Tracker”.
“April was the weakest month for smartphone sell-through as about 80 per cent of smartphone sales channels were closed; sell-through volume was down over 50 per cent. Smartphone sales for May through the end of June grew week-over-week,” said North America Research Director Jeff Fieldhack.

“June sales were stronger than June 2019 sales, which shows the US smartphone market is resilient”.
Due to lockdowns, the share of online sales grew to 31 per cent from 14 per cent last year.
Because of strong online presence, Samsung and Apple volumes fared better than the overall market aided by a higher percentage of online sales.

Apple volumes grew through the quarter and were especially helped by iPhone SE volumes.
“Since the iPhone SE launched, carrier stores and national retail have been re-opening. Some channels saw large promos to draw shoppers back to stores,” said Fieldhack.
iPhone SE buyers are more pragmatic about price, less concerned with 5G, and the smaller display is not considered a hindrance.

Over 30 per cent of iPhone SE buyers came from using an iPhone 6S or older handset. Over 26 per cent of iPhone SE users moved over from an Android device, which is higher than normal Android to iOS switching.
The timing of the Samsung Galaxy S20 family launch, however, was unfortunate.

“Just as channels filled with devices, the majority of stores closed. This led to an estimated 38 per cent fewer Galaxy S20 series activations than last year’s S10 series during the opening four months,” informed Senior Analyst Hanish Bhatia.
“Many potential Galaxy S20 purchases will simply be pushed into Q3, but some will be lost,” he added.