US phone shipments rebound following COVID-19 closures, analyst says

Vendors shipped nearly 32 million smartphones in the US in the second quarter, according to a Canalys report.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti

Apple's quarterly market share reached 47% with the launch of the iPhone SE, according to a Canalys report.

Angela Lang/CNET

As Chinese factory operations resumed at the end of March and stores reopened around the world in May and June amid the coronavirus pandemic, the smartphone market saw an 11% quarter-on-quarter increase in US shipments in the second quarter, according to a Tuesday report by Canalys. During the quarter, vendors shipped 31.9 million smartphones in the United States, the report said, which is still a 5% year-on-year decline.

Nearly 70% of phones shipped in the US in that period were made in China, Canalys said, up from 60% the previous quarter. Apple and Samsung reportedly accounted for seven out of every 10 devices sold. Apple shipped 15 million iPhones , and saw its quarterly market share reach 47% with the launch of the iPhone SE. Samsung's shipment levels matched last year's, but it shipped 59% fewer Galaxy S20 5G series phones than S10 series devices in the second quarter of 2019. "Samsung found itself leaning heavily on its low-end Galaxy A10e and A20 devices to prop up shipments," Canalys said.

"As the coronavirus pandemic forced consumers to stay at home, 5G adoption in the US failed to take off," Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke noted. "Store closures and virus fears limited interaction with demonstration models, tight consumer budgets further constrained spending power, and with scarce 5G network coverage in American suburbia, consumers saw plenty of reasons to buy a 4G device instead. Despite the lackluster 5G roll-out so far, strong carrier marketing in coming quarters will be instrumental in catalyzing a multi-year transition period from LTE to 5G."