According to the new report by technology market research firm Counterpoint, the U.S. overall smartphone market saw a 14 percent YoY increase in smartphone shipments.
The uptick was helped by solid results in both postpaid and prepaid markets. On the postpaid side, phone net adds were almost 1.25mliion. T-Mobile dominated the postpaid phone adds followed by Verizon which saw a surprise uptick after a lull last year, the report said.
Commenting on the competitive environment among smartphone vendors, Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, noted that, "The top 5 OEM suppliers Samsung, Apple, LG, ZTE, and TCL's combined market share grew from 88 percent last year to over 91 percent this quarter and Chinese vendor ZTE led the way growing 36 percent with successful prepaid sales within three major carriers and particularly strong growth within national retail channels.'
The report said that, South Korean tech giant, Samsung regained the top position with 31 percent market share with healthy sell-in for S8 series though Samsung exited with slightly higher inventory overall, while Apple remains to be stronger than last year with iPhone 7 and older iPhone models driving demand up 10 percent YoY in postpaid and prepaid channels respectively.
Research Director, Neil Shah, also highlighted, "Apple-Samsung together have added another percentage of share growing to 60 percent of the US market. Samsung experienced 20 percent growth overcoming GS8 / 8Plus shortages. Its mid and entry portfolio also gained share within prepaid channels and national retail. Apple smartphone volumes grew just over 10 percent as iPhone promos helped alleviate a postpaid slow down pre-refresh. The company also added prepaid subs with a new low point of a sale price of $49 of its older 5S model. 5S, 6S and the SE models with refreshed memory capacities together accounted for almost 30 percent of the total iPhone shipments in Q2 2017."
"Motorola's volumes dropped 2 percent YoY. However, the launch of the Z Force 2 across carriers will help. The major carriers are promoting "Moto Mods" (modular battery, speaker, projector accessories) at launch. The flagship launch could provide a halo effect for its entry devices, which have been successful selling in open channels. Google Pixel had 0.3 percent market share in the US market. The upcoming launch, if expanded across channels like the Z Force 2 and with sufficient supply, should help Google carve out share in the important premium smartphone market."