According to analyst firm Canalys, the North American smartphone market saw shipments decline in the fourth quarter, falling 11.2% year-on-year to 34.6 million units in the first quarter of 2023. According to the results of a three-month period, Apple is the undisputed leader in the region with a 59% share, which is 8 percentage points more than the same indicator for the first quarter of 2022.
Difficult economic conditions and inflation in the US market have led to a decline in consumer demand, particularly in the sub-$200 budget smartphone segment. At the same time, the premium segment above $800 is seeing strong growth, taking the average unit price for smartphones in North America to an all-time high of $790 in the first quarter, up from $671 a year ago.
South Korean company Samsung’s share of the North American smartphone market fell to 23% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Motorola closes out the top three with a 7% market share. The top 5 also includes Google Pixel (4%) and TCL (3%) smartphones. OnePlus and Nokia each hold 1% of the market and have ambitious plans to get closer to the top 5 this year.
The Canalys report notes that Apple managed to strengthen its position over the period. Seven iPhone models made the market top 10, with iPhone Pro and Pro Max models accounting for 45% of total shipments. “Thanks to Apple and Samsung, the $800+ market is up 32.9% YoY, in stark contrast to the overall gloomy market. Despite the duopoly in the premium market, competitors are still trying to enter this segment with premium devices specifically designed to differentiate with additional features such as ecosystem integration, connectivity, brand reliability and enhanced security.”– said Canalys analyst Lindsey Upton.
According to Canalys’ latest forecast in May, the North American smartphone market will shrink by 5.4% this year. While the budget sub-$200 segment will remain under pressure, the pricier above $600 segment is likely to see a 3.5% year-over-year decline for the first time since 2020.