With the world in the midst of a pandemic that, especially in the US, has resulted in the loss of jobs, income, and other struggles, the smartphone market is obviously not doing too hot. Today, a report from Canalys reveals that US smartphone buyers paid less for their phones in Q2 and expensive flagships did especially poorly as a result.

Q2 2020 was when the coronavirus pandemic hit the US hardest, with millions of people going into lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, many businesses furloughed employees that left many with economic uncertainty.

The smartphone industry in the US shipped 31.9 million devices during that time, a 5% decline compared to 2019. Apple and Samsung, of course, dominated most sales with 7 out of every 10 devices being one of the two brands. Apple, however, saw increased shipments of its iPhone 11 and affordable iPhone SE models during the quarter, leading to 10% annual growth.

Samsung, on the other hand, suffered greatly. The company ended up dropping 1% compared to the year previous, but its flagship segment dropped tremendously. 59% fewer Galaxy S20 devices were sold compared to the Galaxy S10 series a year before.

With no end in sight for these economic troubles, too, Canalys predicts that the sub-$400 sector will heat up, specifically calling out Google’s efforts with the Pixel 4a.

Greater unemployment has cut consumer choice, in some cases restricting the ability to buy a new device or cover phone-related expenses. With economic challenges likely to persist, the sub-US$400 segment is poised to gain more prominence, particularly as Google and other Android players increase their exposure to the low-end and mid-range segments.

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