Samsung leads US, LatAm smartphone markets

18 AUG 2017

Samsung topped smartphone shipments in the US and Latin America (LatAm) in Q2, fending off Apple in the former and achieving a record high market share in the latter, Counterpoint Research announced.

In the US, the South Korea-headquartered vendor achieved a 31.3 per cent market share during the quarter, narrowly ahead of Apple on 28.2 per cent.

Research director Neil Shah said Samsung prospered in the US despite shortages of its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus models: “It’s mid and entry portfolio also gained share within prepaid channels and national retail.”

Shah added a series of promotions aided Apple during the quarter, helping to “alleviate a post paid slowdown pre-refresh”, apparently a reference to a traditional slowdown in Apple sales ahead of the launch of a new iPhone model.

The slowdown was offset by increases in prepay shipments, which Shah credited to “a new low point of sale price of $49 of its older 5S model”. Indeed, some 30 per cent of total US iPhone shipments during Q2 were comprised of iPhone 5S, 6S and SE models, Shah noted.

Counterpoint Research placed LG Electronics in third place on a 15.4 per cent market share, with ZTE fourth (11.5 per cent), and TCL-Alcatel fifth (4.8 per cent).

LatAm
While Samsung faced a fight with Apple in the US, it emerged as the clear market leader in LatAm, with a market share of 41 per cent during the quarter.

LG Electronics ranked in second place with a share of 10.1 per cent, though the vendor faces a growing challenge in the form of Motorola, which Counterpoint Research said was the fastest-growing vendor in the region after increasing its share by 65 per cent year-on-year to end the quarter on a 9.9 per cent market share.

Huawei ranked in fourth place with an 8.5 per cent share, and Apple fifth on 3.9 per cent.

Counterpoint Research said an improved macroeconomic climate in key markets including Brazil and Columbia contributed to a 9 per cent year-on-year rise in total smartphone shipments in the region.

Columbia registered the greatest year-on-year growth in smartphone shipments during Q2 (up 26 per cent), which senior analyst Tina Lu credited to the entry of new brands including Meizu, Infinix and Xiaomi.

Lu said greater availability of LTE smartphones was another factor in the broader growth in LatAm shipments during Q2: “Almost nine out of ten smartphones sold in LatAm was LTE capable and instrumental in driving up the replacement rate, and feature phone to smartphone upgrade rates.”

Counterpoint Research did not reveal unit shipment figures in either announcement.

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Michael Carroll

Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling...More

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