Apple has shipped 29 million iPhone Xs in Q4 2017, becoming the world’s best-shipping smartphone model over the holiday season.
The adoption of Apple iPhone Xs was driven by upgrade demand in mobile operator-centric markets, where Apple’s installed base is high and wireless customers can finance the cost of handsets over many months.
Apple shipped 7 million units of iPhone X in China alone. China Mobile is a partner of Apple in China. China Mobile’s 4G reach across the country is assisting Apple to sell its high end devices in China.
It is believed that Apple iPhone X smartphone did not create significant demand in India, one of the target markets for Apple and other smartphone majors. Despite making huge investment in India, Apple could not become the top three brand in India.
The Canalys report came in the wake of some media reports suggesting that Apple had a tough fourth quarter due to poor demand for the iPhone Xs. The media report said that Apple could stop manufacturing iPhone Xs due to tough market conditions.
“The iPhone X performance is impressive for a device priced at $999, but it is slightly below industry expectations,” said Ben Stanton, analyst at Canalys.
The report said Apple struggled with supply issues in early November, but achieved massive uplift in production in late November and throughout December – exceeding demand in some smartphone markets by the end of the quarter.
One major benefit to Apple is that customers are increasingly realizing the residual value of their old smartphones, opting for trade-in programs to offset the high price of the iPhone X. The big price tag, and Apple’s split launch strategy, had an impact, and shipments were not the fastest ever for an iPhone.
Canalys said Apple’s iPhone SE, 6s, 7 and 8 models also shipped well in Q4 because users are still getting value for money.
Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen said: “While new technologies, such as Face ID and bezel-less displays, help to justify the $999 price tag and maintain competitiveness with Samsung, Huawei and Google, having a larger portfolio allows Apple to meet its overall shipment targets, and protect its market leadership in the premium segment.”