Many US consumers have been buying up lower-costing smartphones from OnePlus and Google, which has been taking away sales from Samsung’s Galaxy S10 flagship devices, according to new research.
In the US, both OnePlus and Google managed to steal market share from Samsung and LG by offering more affordable products, Counterpoint Research said in a report on Friday. The OnePlus 7 Pro, which released in May starting at $669, helped increase the Chinese company’s smartphone sales by 152 percent year-over-year.
Other vendors who saw year-over-year gains in the US market include TCL’s Alcatel brand, Lenovo’s Motorola, and Coolpad. They did so by developing products at “low-price tiers” and going after “cost conscious consumers,” Counterpoint said in its report.
Samsung, LG and ZTE —which was hit with crippling US sanctions and a major fine last year— all saw smartphone sales fall year-over-year in the second quarter. Apple, however, saw sales slightly up, but on the lower-priced iPhone XR, an iPhone model that starts at $749. In contrast, the iPhone XS goes for $999 and up.
“We are seeing a shift away from premium devices as Apple showed a YoY (year-over-year) increase through the continued success of the XR as its top seller,” said Counterpoint analyst Maurice Klaehne in a statement. “The iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 have also picked up sales this quarter, with some prepaid channels beginning the transition from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 7 as the main iOS workhorse.
Although consumers are moving away from buying the most premium devices, Apple, Samsung and LG still remain the top three smartphone vendors in the US. OnePlus and Google, on the other hand, failed to crack into the top five, despite the sales jump.
The iPhone XR was the best selling smartphone in the period, followed by the iPhone 8 and the iPhone XS Max.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus was the fourth best selling product with the Galaxy S10 coming in fifth, according to Counterpoint’s research. Nevertheless, the Korean vendor’s products have struggled to drum up sustained sales. “Samsung had a solid launch of the Galaxy S10 series but is now seeing signs of weakness,” said Counterpoint research director Jeff Fieldhack. “Consumers are holding on to their older devices longer in anticipation of more 5G options coming out second half of 2019 and 2020.”
According to Counterpoint, total smartphone sales in the US declined 1.5 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. This comes at a time when some flagship models are reaching $1000 or more in price. Recent surveys have found that most US consumers are refraining from spending more than $750 on a phone.
Research firm Canalys reported similar findings for the US market in Q2. It estimated smartphone shipments contracting by 2.9 percent year-over-year. However, smaller vendors, such as OnePlus and Google, made major gains in the quarter thanks to new product models and expanding their sales channels into the US market, Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke told PCMag in an email.
“In Q2 2019, Google came in as the sixth largest smartphone vendor in the US due to the Pixel 3a series,” he added.