Apple can’t stop the US smartphone market from shrinking, but maybe the Galaxy S24 will

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Apple can’t stop the US smartphone market from shrinking, but maybe the Galaxy S24 will
While global smartphone shipments are widely expected to surge in 2024 following several years of decline, one of the world's largest markets continued its struggles in January. According to the latest preliminary data put together by Counterpoint Research, the US saw 10 percent less sales in the first month of the new year compared to the same period in 2023.

That's obviously... not great, but it might not be terrible either, with a "rebound" of sorts "likely" to be driven by the Galaxy S24 family in February. Of course, Samsung's newest ultra-high-end handsets became available in late January, but that was evidently not enough to move the nationwide needle into an overall positive direction.

The US smartphone market's biggest problem was however the "low-end segment", which performed below expectations and presumably way below its results from the beginning of 2023. While no manufacturer is named (and shamed) for this category's general underperformance, Motorola, TCL, and yes, Samsung are the first brands that come to mind when talking about low-cost mobile devices stateside, and something tells us all three companies can do and have probably done better in previous months.


The premium and "ultra-premium" segments, meanwhile, apparently performed "better" but likely not by much, as overall upgrade rates continue to be described as "tepid."

To the surprise of absolutely no one the least bit familiar with the US market, Apple is still the nation's number one smartphone vendor... by a mile, a supremacy consolidated by the iPhone 15 lineup's steady popularity in the postpaid channel and "significant" prepaid interest in "outdated" members of the iPhone 11 and 12 families.

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Despite all that and despite "outperforming most brands", the Cupertino-based tech giant also saw its own handset sales figures for the month of January fall by "low single digits" compared to the opening 31 days of 2023. Still, Apple is enjoying relative overall stability in a market "experiencing double-digit declines", which obviously puts the company in a good (early) position to maintain last year's number one spot in the global mobile industry. But we're probably getting ahead of ourselves after just one month and a (preliminary) report covering a single country.

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