US Imported Mobile Phone Purchases

Mobile phone hard keys

Mobile phone hard keys

American importers bought US$53.9 billion worth of mobile phones from foreign suppliers in 2018.

The value of US mobile phone imports rose by an average 1.2% since 2014 when America’s mobile phone purchases from foreign sources were valued at $53.3 billion. Year over year, the value of mobile phones imported into the US fell -4.4% from $56.4 billion during 2017.

In contrast, the US exported $10.5 billion worth of mobile phones in 2018–less than one-fifth of America’s spending on imported mobile phones.

The 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for mobile phones is 851712.

US Imported Mobile Phone Purchases

Below are the 15 countries that supplied American importers with the highest dollar value worth of cellphones during 2018.

  1. China: US$44.2 billion (82% of US imported mobile phones)
  2. Vietnam: $4.8 billion (8.9%)
  3. South Korea: $3.9 billion (7.2%)
  4. Hong Kong: $233.7 million (0.4%)
  5. Japan: $217 million (0.4%)
  6. Taiwan: $191.7 million (0.4%)
  7. Mexico: $147.7 million (0.3%)
  8. India: $31.3 million (0.1%)
  9. Philippines: $30.9 million (0.1%)
  10. Thailand: $25.6 million (0.05%)
  11. Malaysia: $22.3 million (0.04%)
  12. United Arab Emirates: $19.6 million (0.04%)
  13. Spain: $13 million (0.02%)
  14. Germany: $9.5 million (0.02%)
  15. Canada: $7.3 million (0.01%)


The listed 15 countries shipped 99.9% of total US cellphone imports in 2018. America’s three leading mobile phone suppliers (China, Vietnam, South Korea) accounted for 98.1%.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing mobile phone suppliers to US importers since 2014 were: the Philippines (up 4,504%), Japan (up 702.2%), India (up 449.3%), Vietnam (up 262.6%) then Hong Kong (up 260.3%).

Those countries that posted the most dramatic declines in their export sales of cellphones to the US over the 5-year period were led by: Malaysia (down -97%), Taiwan (down -88.3%), Mexico (down -78%) and Canada (down -74.7%).

Global Companies Providing US Mobile Phone Imports

The following technology firms are leading mobile phone makers, and provide some of the leading imported mobile phone brands available for purchase in the US.

  • Huawei (China)
  • Lenovo Group (Hong Kong)
  • Xiaomi Tech (China)
  • ZTE (China)
  • LG Electronics (South Korea)
  • Samsung Electronics (South Korea)
  • HTC (Taiwan)
  • Acer (Taiwan)
  • Kyocera Communications (Japan)
  • Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft AG (AEG – Germany)
  • Microsoft Mobile (formerly Nokia, Finland)
  • Blackberry (Canada)

See also Cellphone Exports by Country, Computer Accessories Exports by Country and American Global Technology Companies

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 19, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 19, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 19, 2019

Gartner Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q15 (August 2015), Table 1. Accessed on October 6, 2015

BrandsMart USA list of available mobile phone brands. Accessed on March 19, 2019