The ongoing global chip shortage is having a strange impact on smartphone vendors’ market share in the US, according to a new report from Wave7.
The firm, which surveys US retailers to get a picture of smartphone demand in the United States, informed PC Mag that Samsung and OnePlus have been hit especially hard – and particularly with regard to their budget phones, where demand is present, but stock is not.
“Sources have told Wave7 Research that Apple was able to lock down chipset supply well ahead of time,” Jeff Moore, principal at Wave7 told PC Mag.
One store manager cited in the company’s latest report claimed that “everybody but Apple” is impacted, and that means that stores are unevenly impacted. AT&T, which has an iPhone-heavy inventory, is operating broadly at business as usual, but T-Mobile has reportedly suffered badly.
While Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra sales are still strong, the report states that this may be at the detriment of the company’s bread and butter: middle to low-end phones purchased by those wanting a Galaxy phone, but uninterested in paying top dollar for the experience. Verizon, apparently, is completely sold out of Samsung Galaxy A02s, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy A01, Galaxy A21 and Galaxy A51 headsets.
And, in the US at least, Samsung’s loss is OnePlus’ gain, with the company hitting a record 8% of T-Mobile sales in the absence of Galaxy handsets.
But again, this is uneven: while the company hit 20% of sales at Metro in July, thanks to strong sales of the OnePlus Nord N200, this figure halved in August thanks to “short supply of certain OnePlus devices.”
While the report makes pleasant reading for Apple, it’s important to note that the company’s immunity may not last forever. During Apple’s Q3 2021 earnings call to investors, chief financial officer Luca Maestri warned that “supply constraints” were incoming, expected to “primarily impact iPhone and iPad.”