After experiencing dwindling sales for years, last month AT&T and Verizon revealed that U.S. smartphone purchases have reached record lows.
With the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and the continued difficulties it’s creating for the electronic components industry, this news might not come as much of a surprise. However, another significant factor impacting local smartphone sales today is a simple lack of market diversity.
Two Smartphone Providers for a Nationwide Market
In the U.S., smartphone choices for consumers typically come down to picking an Apple or a Samsung product. Having limited options wasn’t a problem until in recent years when both providers began getting redundant in their upgraded smartphone designs.
Looking back over the last few generations, newer Apple and Samsung models have only seen incremental performance improvements.
These small upgrades, like slightly better camera resolutions and processing speeds, evidently haven’t given consumers very much purchasing incentive, especially when considering how older models, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7, still meet many users’ performance standards.
Moreover, Apple and Samsung’s latest models are exceeding costs of $1,000 as a new modern standard of pricing. Those are hefty price tags for devices that perform only slightly better than the smartphones most people already have.
All-in-all, it’s getting harder for people to justify upgrades for little additional value, and local distributors aren’t stepping up accordingly. At the same time, since Apple and Samsung jointly dominate the U.S. smartphone market, it’s not like they have any outside competition to motivate them to improve.
Refusing Huawei drops U.S. Smartphone Sales behind EMEA
The smartphone market is reaching its maturity. Therefore, an overall reduction in sales is not unreasonable. As such, other nations in European, Middle Eastern, and Asian (EMEA) markets have demonstrated natural trends in declining smartphone purchases.
By comparison, the smartphone slowdown is still particularly heavy in the U.S. Restricted access to Huawei’s hardware in smartphone products is a primary reason for the reduction.
While the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer continues to outsell more of its competitors worldwide, they aren’t allowed to sell to U.S. consumers. This ban comes from a fear of China’s anticipated ability to spy on U.S. activities through Huawei devices.
However, regardless of the reasoning or validity behind Huawei’s restriction, their activities in EMEA markets are certainly stimulating smartphone sales.
It’s not hard to see why that is either. While Apple and Samsung offer small improvements to previous models, Huawei devices, like their P30 Pro, boast innovative and easily marketable new features.