Gargantuan iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 sales help Apple almost erase Motorola and Alcatel from the US market as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 just keep Google alive
Counterpoint Research has published a report detailing smartphone sales for the US market throughout 2020, with Apple ending the year with an astonishing sales record. According to the researchers, 14.9 million smartphones were sold (not just shipped) in the US in December 2020, with Apple accounting for 64% of the market share. This means around 9.54 million iPhones were snapped up in the final month of last year, leaving Apple far ahead of all its rivals in the US smartphone market. Such was Apple’s dominance throughout the year, with continued strong sales of the iPhone 11 series and the introduction of the iPhone 12 range, that it seems a few competitors are now facing obliteration while one company has already apparently been erased.
Samsung can thank healthy second and third quarter sales of the Galaxy S20 series for remaining in a reasonably strong position, although the yearly high market share of 33% (April and May) dropped considerably to the year-end figure of 20%. This means Samsung sold around 2.98 million phones in the US during December, while third-placed LG seemingly managed 1.19 million unit sales for 8% share. Both Korean companies have similar year-on-year market share figures: Samsung 20% (Dec 19) and 20% (Dec 20); LG 10% (Dec 19) and 8% (Dec 20). However, Apple has experienced a year-on-year increase from 49% to 64%, which must have come at a great cost for other smartphone manufacturers.
By July, Google certainly looked like it was going to be squeezed out of the US smartphone market, but fortunately the arrivals of the Pixel 4a in August (and the later-released 5G variant) and the Pixel 5 in late October kept the company alive thanks to their great camera equipment and guaranteed software support. However, while Apple hasn’t completely crushed Google yet, and it seems ZTE has been firmly removed from the market thanks to US sanctions, things are still looking precarious for Motorola and Alcatel. Both had meaty chunks of market share in December 2019, but by December 2020 those chunks had become slivers. The “Others” share, incorporating firms such as OnePlus, Lenovo, Xiaomi, etc. has also greatly diminished in the face of Apple’s onslaught.