iPhone is the only reason for the recovery of the US smartphone market

iPhone 15 Pro colorful lineup

Overall, smartphone sales in the US grew 8% year-on-year in 2023 period of last year. , helped by “very strong” sales results for Apple's iPhone.

Like the latest global smartphone data, the new report says premium phones like Apple's have performed better than cheaper devices.

Apple's share of sales rose to 64% in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to Counterpoint Research. This is the company's highest market share since the fourth quarter of 2020.

This helped overall smartphone shipments rose 8% YoY, and Counterpoint attributes both this and the increase in iPhone sales to Apple's recovery from the disruption caused by COVID-related factory closures last year.

“The fourth quarter is typically a strong quarter for Apple, given strong demand for iPhones during the holiday sales,” said Jeff Fieldhack, director of research for Counterpoint North America. “Throughout 2023, Apple promoted its N-2 or N-3 prepaid devices by selling iPhone 12 or iPhone 11 at very low prices, which also helped it increase its market share in this segment.”

Apple Leads U.S. Smartphone Sales

Android sales overall declined as Counterpoint reports the sub-$300 market “saw the biggest decline” ”

“The outlook for 2024 will largely depend on the US economy,” wrote Counterpoint deputy director Hanish Bhatia. “This is an election year, which usually means improvements in various economic parameters.”

“Therefore, demand is expected to increase across all price segments, leading to modest growth throughout the year,” Bhatia continued. “MVNOs [mobile virtual network operators] like Google Fi, which have increased their presence in national retail channels, will continue to provide competition to prepaid.”

“With funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) soon running out or being cut,” Bhatia said, “this will be another driver for the low-cost device market.”

Counterpoint also predicts that the premium smartphone market will continue to grow in 2024 thanks to generative AI capabilities. Separately, it was reported that Apple plans to add more artificial intelligence to iOS 18 for the upcoming iPhone 16 line.

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