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US smartphone market down 21% in Q1 due to COVID-19 blow

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US smartphone market down 21% in Q1

Smartphone sales in the US declined 21 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2020 driven by store closures and stay-at-home orders in the latter part of the quarter, said a report from Counterpoint Research. While Apple only declined 13 per cent YoY, most other manufacturers saw steeper decline.

“Samsung, on the other hand, declined 23 per cent YoY. The Galaxy A-series continued to be a sales driver for Samsung as the Galaxy S20 series had a weak start due to COVID-19 shutdowns taking effect right as the new models hit the stores,” Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne said in a statement.

However, OnePlus did manage to buck the trend as it saw two per cent year-over-year growth in the quarter due to its small year-ago base. “OnePlus continues to make inroads into US carrier markets, especially through competitively-priced 5G smartphone offerings,” Klaehne added.

Among the major players, Google’s smartphone sales experienced the highest 64 per cent year-over-year decline in the US market in Q1 2020, revealed the report. Factory closures in China due to COVID-19 began to impact supplies of smartphones in the US in February and early March.

“Manufacturers with factories located in Wuhan were affected the most. A late tax season bump saw a sales increase for prepaid devices in late February, but supply shortages limited this growth,” said Research Director Jeff Fieldhack.

“In mid-March, demand plummeted due to COVID-19. States began to issue stay-at-home orders and both carriers and national retailers closed stores, restricted foot traffic and offered curb-side pick-up in only a few cases. “Around 70 per cent of postpaid stores closed in March leading to a steep decline in smartphone sales for the last month of the quarter,” Fieldhack said.

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