U.S. smartphone sales plummeted 25% in Q2 2020 due to coronavirus

Phone pile
Phone pile (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Counterpoint Research says smartphone sales in the U.S. fell 25% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Samsung fared better than other OEMs, registering only a 10% decline in sales.
  • Sales of OnePlus, Motorola, and ZTE phones tumbled by over 60% during the period.

According to Counterpoint Research's latest U.S. smartphone channel share tracker, smartphone sales in the country nosedived almost 25% year-over-year in Q2 2020. April saw the weakest sales during the quarter, as the first lockdowns in the U.S. were announced in mid-March and lasted until mid-April. Nearly 80% of smartphone sales channels in the country were closed in April, which resulted in sales tumbling over 50%. From May, however, smartphone sales in the U.S. started growing steadily, and June 2020 sales were actually higher than June 2019.

Smartphones Sales Us Q2

Source: Counterpoint Research (Image credit: Source: Counterpoint Research)

Commenting on the sharp decline in smartphone sales in Q2 2020, Counterpoint's North America Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, said:

Mid-March through mid-April saw the weakest sales as it was the height of the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the US. April was the weakest month for smartphone sell-through as about 80% of smartphone sales channels were closed; sell-through volume was down over 50%. Smartphone sales for May through the end of June grew week-over-week. June 2020 sales were stronger than June 2019 sales, which shows the US smartphone market is resilient.

While overall sales declined during the period, the share of online sales increased to 31% from 14% last year. Samsung, which has a strong online presence, was the least affected OEM during the April-June period. Samsung's smartphone sales decreased by only 10% YoY, while companies like OnePlus, Motorola, and ZTE registered over 60% decline in sales. However, the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdowns led to 38% fewer Galaxy S20 series activations than last year's Galaxy S10 series in the March through June period.

Apple fared quite well too, thanks to the strong sales of the iPhone SE 2020. The Cupertino-based company saw its sales plummet by 23% during the quarter.

Best Android Phones in 2020

Babu Mohan
News Writer
  • I bought a phone during this time. It was very difficult to find one in stock and at a store where I could pick it up soon. Not to mention most stores wanted you to come in for some sort of activation but then wouldn't actually allow that because they were closed or you had to set an appointment for days later when the phone will no longer be in stock. Plenty of promotions I wanted to take advantage of and couldn't. I eventually just bought from Amazon.
  • And maybe because the price of the flagship phones have reached ridiculous levels...
  • I just don't give a crap anymore. You get one year of Android updates (maybe), so the average person goes 2/3 years and gets another one so they become disposable. I'm not spending over $300 for a phone anymore. I spent $250 on a Moto G power and it does exactly what I wanted to do so when I get rid of it in another year and a half at least I'll get my money's worth!!