Apple’s iPhone accounted for almost half of US smartphone shipments in Q2

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The smartphone market suffered terribly in the first quarter of 2020 at the hands of COVID-19 and the April-June quarter was even worse. Despite that, Apple shipped a record number of iPhones in the United States.

The iPhone 11 and iPhone SE were very popular

Market data gathered by Canalys shows that smartphone vendors shipped 31.9 million smartphones in the United States during the second quarter. That number is down 5% year-on-year from the 33.4 million devices shipped in Q2 2019. 

Apple remained the number one smartphone manufacturer in the US for yet another quarter and accounted for almost half of the entire market. Specifically, it shipped 15 million iPhone units and achieved a market share of 47.1%. 

That represents a new domestic iPhone shipment record for the Tim Cook-led company, which is especially impressive considering the circumstances. It also equates to a 10% boost over the 13.4 million iPhones sold twelve months earlier.

The success, according to Canalys, was down to three factors. First, the iPhone 11 has been received much more positively than its predecessor, the iPhone XR, which led to a 15% increase in US shipments. 

Secondly, as Apple itself confirmed in its most recent earnings call, the $399 iPhone SE has proven extremely popular among existing customers using older iPhones and even some Android customers. That resulted in a sales increase too.

Lastly, the economic impact caused by COVID-19 in the US has led to a shift in buying habits. The average price of smartphones dropped 10% year-on-year to $503, which further aided the launch of the iPhone SE (2020).

Samsung remained stable, but the Galaxy S20 didn’t help

Following in second place was Samsung with shipments of 7.4 million units and an impressive 23.2% share of the US smartphone market. The company’s shipment total remains unchanged from a year ago and its share has grown by 0.9%, but not everything is positive.

The lackluster reception of the Galaxy S20 5G series due to its higher prices combined with the COVID-19 impact led to a massive drop in flagship sales. Samsung shipped 59% fewer Galaxy S20 handsets than Galaxy S10 models. 

It, therefore, relied heavily on cheaper devices such as the low-end Galaxy A10e and Galaxy A20 to prop up shipment numbers during the quarter. That is great for market share but bad for the bottom line, something Samsung corroborated in its Q2 earnings report. 

LG and Motorola followed with no sign of Google or OnePlus

Rounding out the top three smartphone manufacturers was LG. The South Korean brand shipped 3.5 million devices and accounted for 11% of the market, down from the 4.3 million and 13% it recorded a year earlier. 

As Canalys notes, LG could benefit long-term from the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China as the Trump administration looks to cut virtually all ties with China by pushing manufacturers outside of the country with hefty tariffs on imports.

Speaking of China, local companies Lenovo and TCL completed the top five. 

The former primarily sells smartphones under the Motorola brand and shipped 2.2 million devices in Q2 2020 which led to a market share of 6.9%. Those numbers are up from 2 million shipments and 6.1% a year earlier.

TCL, on the other hand, was heavily impacted by the pandemic. Shipments shrank 43% from 2.3 million in Q2 2019 to 1.3 million in Q2 2020, giving it a market share of only 4%.

The remaining smartphone manufacturers, which include the likes of Google and OnePlus, only accounted for a combined 2.4 million shipments.

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