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Motorola Returns as US Smartphone Shipments Hit 40 Million in Q3 2017

by Neil Mawston | Nov 07, 2017

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) serviceUnited States smartphone shipments fell 2 percent annually to reach 40 million units in the third quarter of 2017.

Our full report is published here.

Motorola was the star performer, almost doubling its smartphone shipments from a year ago and capturing 5 percent marketshare.

United States smartphone shipments fell 2 percent annually from 40.1 million units in Q3 2016 to 39.5 million in Q3 2017. The US smartphone market slowed down, due mostly to mixed demand for new iPhones from industry leader Apple.

We estimate APPLE shipped 12.0 million iPhones for 30 percent marketshare in the US in Q3 2017, dipping from 13.0 million units and 32 percent share in Q3 2016. Demand for the new iPhone 8 portfolio was mixed, while some Apple fans delayed purchases in anticipation of the later introduction of iPhone X.

SAMSUNG shipped 9.9 million smartphones for 25 percent share in the US in Q3 2017, up slightly from 24 percent a year ago. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 performed relatively well in the high-tier, while its A5 model and others are popular in the mid-tier.

LG maintained third position with 17 percent US smartphone marketshare in Q3 2017, inching up from 16 percent during Q3 2016. LG has expanded its retail presence at major operators this year, like Sprint and AT&T, and this is helping LG to stay one step ahead of ambitious new rivals such as ZTE.

ZTE shipped 4.6 million smartphones and held fourth place with 12 percent marketshare in the US in Q3 2017, up from 9 percent a year ago. ZTE is benefiting from strong demand in the prepaid segment, particularly with operator Tracfone. ZTE has been capturing large chunks of smartphone share from midrange rivals such as TCL-Alcatel and Blu.

MOTOROLA almost doubled its smartphone shipments from 1.1 million units in the US in Q3 2016 to 2.1 million in Q3 2017. Motorola took fifth place and captured 5 percent smartphone marketshare in the US during the quarter, returning it to a top-five ranking for the first time since 2015. Motorola’s recovery has been driven by expanded distribution with all top four US carriers, selling popular new models such as Moto Z2 Play.

Exhibit 1: United States Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q3 2017  [1]

[1]  Numbers are rounded.

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