We figured the numbers would be bad, but the chart sent to us today of US smartphone sales numbers for Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 is still shocking to see. The coronavirus pandemic really hammered almost every major smartphone company here, with companies like OnePlus, Motorola, and LG really struggling. Samsung and Apple saw their numbers drop too, just not as significantly.
The numbers were presented by Counterpoint after researching smartphone sell-through during the second quarter. Their numbers show big hits to sales from mid-March through mid-April as all of the lockdowns happened in the US. During that time where most of the retail stores were closed for in-person visits, volume was down 50% compared to the previous year.
On a bit of a positive note, smartphones sales in May and June actually grew week-over-week. June happened to show stronger sales than June 2019 too. There’s a chance that the one-time stimulus checks in the US helped there, and the fact that many retail stores opened across the country.
General industry sales figures aside, breaking out the individual manufacturer sales paints a bad picture. Samsung is reported to have seen 38% fewer Galaxy S20 activations compared to the Galaxy S10 the year prior. Overall, they were down 10% year-over-year, which if I’m being honest, doesn’t seem that bad knowing what the US is still going through.
Apple’s numbers were down 23%, even with supposedly strong sales of the iPhone SE. LG was down 35%, OnePlus saw a 60% drop, and Motorola was down 62%.
Those numbers for OnePlus seem especially bad knowing that they launched the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro during that time. Not only was the OnePlus 8 Pro a hell of a phone that is arguably better than Samsung’s Galaxy S20 on almost all levels, they partnered with Verizon and T-Mobile to sell the OnePlus 8. Of course, we know that the OnePlus 8 Pro was mostly soldout in the US for some time, likely due to manufacturing delays from the global pandemic. But still, seeing that huge of a drop after adding Verizon is not good.
The LG and Motorola drops aren’t surprising, since neither has sold a popular phone in years. Motorola wasn’t ever going to sell many of its Edge+ phone on a single carrier, even if we thought it was pretty solid. LG’s V60 was mostly just more of the same from LG, a phone with stuff and no real sales pitch.
Will things turn around in Q3? That’s tough to say. The US is still mostly opened back up, but COVID-19 is spiraling out of control again. There could (and probably should be) closures again. It’s going to be a rough rest of 2020.