Samsung’s smartphone sales rise in US in Q4 2020: Report

Samsungs smartphone sales in the US rose in the fourth quarter of 2020 on the back of its budget flagship model, a report showed on Thursday, despite overall market decline.

Samsung and Apple were the only smartphone makers to post sales growth in the US in the last three months of 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.

The South Korean tech giant saw 5 per cent on-year growth in its U.S. smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, while Apple posted 14 percent on-year growth on its home turf, the market researcher said.

Both Samsung and Apple bucked the overall U.S. smartphone market’s 6 percent on-year decline in the October-December period, reports Yonhap news agency.

“Q4 2020 was a particularly challenging quarter for many OEMs, especially those who manufacture devices for the prepaid and lower price band markets,” said Jeff Fieldhack, a director at Counterpoint Research.

“On the other hand, premium devices did well in the quarter. There was a pent-up demand in the higher price bands as customers spent some of their savings on new gadgets during the holiday period.”

While Apple saw robust sales of its first 5G smartphone, the iPhone 12, Samsung’s performance was apparently led by the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE) 5G, the budget model of its flagship S20 series, Counterpoint Research said.

But when it comes to yearly sales, both Samsung and Apple posted negative growth in the United States last year, the market researcher added.

In 2020, Samsung’s smartphone sales were down 5 per cent from a year ago, while Apple’s sell-through was down 3 per cent from a year earlier, its data showed.

LG Electronics saw its sales drop 19 percent in 2020, while Motorola Inc. suffered a 57 per cent decline in its sales.

China’s OnePlus was the only smartphone brand that posted sales growth in the US last year, while the overall smartphone market declined 15 percent year-on-year, Counterpoint Research added.

The market tracker said that Samsung is likely to have a difficult time against Apple in the U.S. in early 2021 despite the release of its new flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S21.