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The US phone market is a notoriously touch one to crack, and after 10 years OnePlus is still very much an “other” brand in the USA…


TL;DR

Why Android Brands Are Failing In The US…

US Market Share Stats

  • Market Share: Samsung holds 23% of the US market, while Apple’s iPhone controls 61%. OnePlus has a minimal share, often lumped into the “other” category with Google, Motorola, TCL and other brands (5-8%).
  • Carrier Preferences: US carriers prefer iPhones, giving iOS a 60% market share, while Android holds 20%, primarily due to Samsung.
  • Challenges for Other Brands: Brands like OnePlus, Nothing, and OPPO struggle to break into the US market despite having competitive hardware, largely due to carrier preferences for Apple and Samsung.


People used to talk about Android vs iPhone, debate the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. In the US, though, this debate ended a good long while ago and it is now more a case of iPhone vs Samsung.

The Current State of Affairs

As of 2024, Apple controls around 61% of the US market, followed by Samsung with 23%. The rest is occupied by Motorola, Google, and brands like OnePlus.

With OnePlus, its share of the US market is so small that it’s seldom mentioned by name in market analysis reports – it simply occupies that “other” segment which fluctuates between 5% and 8% year or year.

Carriers Love iPhone

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US carriers love iPhone, and Samsung – they’re warming to Pixel phones as well. But they mostly only have eyes for Apple’s iPhone. This is why Apple’s iOS platform has 20% more of the market than Android – iOS controls 60% of the US market

Android, largely on account of Samsung, not Google nor any of its other Android partners, accounts for just 20% which given the nature of Android, the choice of potential models available from a range of brands, is utterly mind boggling.

For this reason, brands like OnePlus and Nothing and OPPO stand next to no chance of cracking the US market despite the fact they make hardware that is just as good – and often better value – than Apple and Samsung.

In the UK, there’s a breadth of options available from phone networks. Go to any network, be it Three or O2, and you’ll find options across a huge range of price points from nearly every corner of the Android kingdom – from Google and Samsung to Xiaomi and Fairphone.

Americans Pay More For Their Phones Because They Don’t Have As Much Choice

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In the US, major carriers DO NOT support smaller brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, or even Sony. You get Apple, Samsung, Google, and Motorola – and if you don’t like that, tough, because that’s all you’re getting.

This means, on average, consumers in the US pay more for their smartphones because they’re denied a wider selection of phones. You can import phones from overseas but this isn’t ideal and there’s no guarantees they’ll work on your carrier anyway.

The only logical way around this, if carriers aren’t willing to play ball with smaller, non-domestic brands, is to buy your phone outright, direct from the manufacturer – but this means no subsidies, no carrier deals, and most people simply aren’t willing to do this.

But if you do decide to do this, brands like OnePlus serve up a veritable selection of affordable, performance-focussed Android phones, so you don’t need to “just get a Motorola phone” if you want something cheaper, you can get something better for around the same price or even less.

And with the incoming launch of the OnePlus 13, things are about to get a lot more interesting in the OnePlus camp – the phone sounds great with choice improvements across the board, even the camera (which was already badass on the OnePlus 12).


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