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US Smartphone Sales Dip 10% as Consumers Delay Upgrades

According to data from Counterpoint Research, U.S. consumer demand for smartphones fell 10% in January.

Budget-constrained consumers are waiting longer to upgrade their mobile devices, and U.S. smartphone sales last month were nearly half of the record levels during the same period in 2017, the research firm said, according to a Wednesday (Feb. 21) report from Reuters.

Smartphone sales have weakened after the surge in demand during the pandemic, as consumers face an uncertain economic outlook and the lack of major new features in new iterations of the devices, Reuters reported.

The report noted that Samsung’s latest phone, the Galaxy S24, launched in January and performed well, and could cause a “rebound in smartphone sales in February,” Reuters said, citing Counterpoint data.

Meanwhile, Apple is continuing to experiment with its hardware and is reportedly working on at least two versions of a foldable iPhone, which would fold widthwise in a clamshell fashion.

However, as PYMNTS reported, they are not part of Apple’s plans for mass production in this year or the next, and the project could be shelved if the phones don’t meet the company’s standards.

In other recent news, Apple has dethroned Samsung’s spot at the top of the smartphone market after over a decade, PYMNTS reported last month.

“The last time a company not named Samsung was at the top of the smartphone market was 2010, and for 2023 it is now Apple,” research group IDC said Jan. 15 in its annual report on the mobile phone market, per the PYMNTS report.

Even so, Apple expects to see iPhone shipments decline by 10% to 15% this year.

Citing a report by Bloomberg, PYMNTS reported that Apple has lowered its shipments of key semiconductor components, hinting at the tech giant’s weaker expectations for its devices.

Despite this, Apple was reported as the most popular smartphone in China last year, according to another report by the IDC.

The report showed Apple securing 17.3% of the smartphone market share — up from 16.8% in 2022 — with China-based rival Huawei making it into the top five companies for the first time.