The US smartphone market declined by 25% in the second quarter of 2020
The latest report on the US smartphone market by Counterpoint Research has concluded that it contracted by 25% YoY in 2Q2020. This change may have been associated with quarantines and lockdowns obviated by the global Covid-19 public health crisis in part; however, it may also have been influenced by the unusually strong trend toward acquiring phones as a result of subscribing to carrier plans in this country.
In addition, Counterpoint noted that online sales are typically not as popular within the US smartphone market as they are in some others. Nevertheless, this sector was found to have approximately doubled its share (31%, compared to 14% in 1Q2019) in the quarter, whereas brick-and-mortar stores were closed out of necessity for most of those months.
This situation may have contributed to declines in both the pre-pay and bill-pay sectors of this market, the former of which reportedly took the biggest hit. The latter, on the other hand, was able to keep its losses at about 20% YoY, again thanks to an uptick in online orders.
However, the market as a whole did show signs of bouncing back even before the quarter closed: for example, sales from May to June's end grew week-on-week, whereas those of June 2020 were in fact "stronger" compared to the same month of 2019.
These short-term improvements were attributed to factors such as the re-opening of physical stores and the issuance of stimulus checks. In addition, the launch of the iPhone SE was something of a boon to Apple toward the end of the quarter.
Counterpoint reported that over 30% of consumers who bought the new mid-ranger had owned iPhones of the 6S or older category, whereas another ~26% had been Android users. This stat represent a "higher than normal" cross-OS transition in the United States. Nevertheless, 2Q2020 did take its causalties in the US, the most prominent of which may have been Samsung's Galaxy S20 series.
Activations of its units between the months of March and June were down 38% compared to those of S10-line phones for those months in 2019. This may have been due to the unfortunate conjunction between the date of the S20s' launch and the beginning of the nationwide lockdown.