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iPhone X Takes the Crown in the US, Older iPhones Popular in Canada

by Juha Winter | Feb 14, 2018

The fourth quarter of the year is usually when Apple really gets to shine with its latest-generation flagship devices. The last two years had seen rather plain upgrades to the iPhone lineup, with both the iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and 7 / 7 Plus seen as incremental improvements over their predecessors.

In Q4 2017, or November to be exact, Apple started shipping its much-awaited new flagship device, the iPhone X. This device was speculated by some to initiate a “super cycle” of upgrades, boosting iPhone sales to new heights. As you may remember, Apple had not succeeded in replicating the huge success of the iPhone 6 in 2014 with any subsequently released model – not the iPhone 6s nor the iPhone 7. And the iPhone 8, introduced together with the iPhone X but available roughly two months earlier, was not going to be a game changer in this respect, either. As evidenced by Apple’s quarterly results, there was no super cycle and in fact, the shipments of iPhones declined slightly in year-on-year terms for the first time ever in the holiday season quarter. The upside was that the average selling price of iPhones rocketed to new heights thanks to the highly-priced iPhone X, but the shipments of the device and, perhaps even more importantly, the demand outlook were disappointing.

In the United States, however, the iPhone X was indeed a success over the holiday season and the whole of Q4, as the device took the top spot in terms of shipments. With the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus following just behind the iPhone X and the iPhone 7 / 7 Plus also performing very strongly, Apple was on a roll in the US market. Although Samsung also enjoyed strong sales with its Galaxy S8 and Note 8, Apple was clearly the top performer.

In Canada, the market characteristics are somewhat different, as the monthly tariffs imposed by carriers on subscribers are more variable depending on the model purchased, and therefore older, more affordable models make an attractive choice to many value-conscious smartphone buyers. This explains the popularity of the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) in comparison with newer iPhone models and Samsung S series / Note flagships.

Interested in the shipments, market share, wholesale pricing, and specs of the top-50 best-selling smartphones in the United States and Canada? Clients of our SMT service can get these, and many other types of data here.

iPhone X in gray

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