The US smartphone market saw a six per cent year-on-year decline in sales in Q4 2020, despite a record high iPhone sales, as Covid-19 continued to impact the economy, said a new report.
Apple and Samsung were the only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to see positive growth in the quarter, thanks to new launches and a strong demand for premium devices during the holiday season, industry tracker Counterpoint Research said on Monday.
"Q4 2020 was a particularly challenging quarter for many OEMs, especially those who manufacture devices for the prepaid and lower price band markets," Jeff Fieldhack, US Mobile Devices and Carrier Strategies Director at Counterpoint, said in a statement.
"With COVID-19 still showing record number of US cases, there were over 10.7 million unemployed people at the end of 2020. The economic effect of this can be seen in the negative growth of many OEMs in the quarter," Fieldhack said.
Apple grew 14 per cent year-on-year in Q4 despite a delayed iPhone 12 launch while Samsung gained five per cent year-on-year.
"Given this strong demand for new iPhones and supply shortages in Q4 2020, we expect sales to spill over into Q1 2021," Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne added.
Samsung had a strong quarter as well, mainly due to the success of the Samsung S20 FE 5G, according to Senior Research Analyst Hanish Bhatia.
"The OEM even launched a 256GB variant in the quarter to meet further demand from customers looking to buy a sub-$1,000 device," Bhatia said.