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Apple still tops in contracting US smartphone market

iPhone 15 Pro lineup

Figures for US smartphone sales in January 2024 hit a new low, but Apple's iPhone continues to increasingly dominate the market.

Previous preliminary reports from Counterpoint Research for the whole of 2023 showed a return to growth for premium smartphones. Now the firm's latest figures for January 2024 are showing that the overall market is being pulled down by lower-end models.

"Tough times in the volume-driven low end coupled with delayed upgrades in anticipation of new products drove the market lower," said Counterpoint senior analyst Maurice Klaehne in a new briefing.

Overall, US smartphone sales declined 10% year over year for January 2024, but Counterpoint says "Apple outperformed most brands." The figures show the iPhone's sales down "low single digits," but also that Apple was again "continuing to gain share."

"We continue to see strong promotions for the iPhone 15 series in postpaid," said research director Jeff Fieldhack, "while there remains significant interest in older models like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 among cost-conscious consumers in prepaid."

US smartphone sales and iPhone market share (Source: Counterpoint)
US smartphone sales and iPhone market share (Source: Counterpoint)

"This combination is enabling Apple to maintain stability in a market experiencing double-digit declines," continued Fieldhack. "This is good for share gains and great for the iOS installed base."

Counterpoint's Klaehne adds that "we are likely to see a rebound in February, especially as the Galaxy S24 series becomes available."

Samsung launched the Galaxy S24 range on January 17, 2024, but went on sale on January 31.