iPhone Xr is best-selling model in November as Apple smartphone sales drop

New data from market research firm Counterpoint indicates that iPhone sales were down 20% year-over-year in November, and that the iPhone Xr was the best-selling model during the month.

In contrast, in 2017 November the more expensive iPhone X was the best-selling model with almost 50% higher volume compared to the iPhone Xr in November 2018.

Counterpoint chart.jpg

The overall sales of new iPhones took a hit in November due to slower sales of the series in the Asia Pacific region (excluding China and India), Europe and US. The decline in the U.S. and Europe is due to the lengthening replacement cycle and decreased operator discounts this year during the launch of new iPhones, according to Counterpoint. While the decline in emerging markets like the Asia Pacific (excluding China and India) is due to the higher price when compared to offerings from Chinese players, the research group adds.

Here are some key points from Counterpoint’s report:

  • Sale of the iPhones Xr, Xs, and Xs Max launched in November were down over 20% year-over-year compared to last year’s launches of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.

  • The iPhone Xr 64GB became the best-selling iPhone during the month.

  • iPhone Xr sales, when compared to iPhone 8, were down 5%, both being the cheapest new iPhone available during the month of their respective launches.

  • Similarly, the iPhone Xs, when compared to iPhone 8 Plus, was up 3% year-over-year.

  • The iPhone Xs Max, when compared to iPhone X during the same month last year, shows a 46% decline in sales. However, cumulative sales of iPhone Xs Max were 50% higher till November than that of iPhone X last year due to the early availability of the higher priced models this year.

  • Sales in China during November were steady due to the popular 11.11 (Single’s Day) sales. Even then, sales of iPhone Xr remained lower than expected due to a lack of innovative features and just one camera. And while it’s the cheapest new iPhone, it still is expensive compared to local competitor products.

  • China iPhone sales in December will be down partly due to the ongoing trade war between US-China and Chinese companies encouraging employees to buy smartphones from Chinese manufacturers.

“We estimate iPhone XR to further eat into the share of higher-priced iPhone XS and XS Max during December 2018,” says Counterpoint. “We are also expecting an increase in sales of older iPhone models like iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 in emerging markets due to the high price of newer models.”