Apple’s #1 selling, most popular iPhone is not its flagship, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro Max – it’s the cheaper iPhone 11…
Most Popular iPhone Model 2019 – The iPhone 11
Apple had a pretty good 2019. The company released three iPhones, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Max. As usual, the iPhone 11 base model was the cheapest ($699.99) with the Pro models being more expensive – $899.99 for the iPhone 11 Pro and $999.99 for the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Check this post out for a detailed breakdown of how much the iPhone 11 range costs.
The most popular iPhone for 2019, by sales volume, however, was not the flagship model. No, it was the cheaper iPhone 11 – this model accounted for around 39% of Apple’s Q4 iPhone 11 sales, according to research by CounterPoint. Apple’s entire iPhone 11 range accounts for 69% of iPhone sales during the quarter too, showing high-levels of adoption.
The star of the show, however, was the iPhone 11; it accounted for 39% of total sales for the company’s iPhone product range. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were considerably lower. Still, Apple’s sales were down year-on-year despite the popularity of the iPhone 11.
And the reason? Well, there’s two, apparently: the first is that people are waiting for 5G iPhones before upgrading and the second, which is more likely, is that people are defecting to cheaper mid-tier phones from Chinese brands like OPPO and Xiaomi. Either way, Apple’s 40 million sales for the year are still pretty impressive.
As it stands, the vast majority of consumers appear to be voting with their wallets, and the overarching theme appears to be that they DO NOT want $1000 smartphones. The iPhone 11 represents the kind of value for money that people want even if it comes at the expense of OLED screens and triple-lens cameras (which you can get for less money with the OnePlus 7T).
Most Popular iPhone Model – The iPhone XR
The iPhone XR was a hugely popular release for Apple. So much so, in fact, that the entry-level iPhone 10 model’s sales eclipsed the more expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Again, the reason for the iPhone XR’s success was its price; the handset was accessibly-priced by Apple (it’s now available for less than $450) and packed in a ton of great features, as well as killer design.
Apple did not release official sales stats for its 2018 iPhone models. Why? Unclear. But many suspect that the reason for this was because iPhone sales in 2018/19 weren’t as good as they were in 2017 – the entire market slowed down.
Still, analysts were able to draw clear conclusions on the most popular iPhone model for 2018/19, using customer buying data. And there was a clear winner – the iPhone XR.
According to CIRP data, the iPhone XR accounted for a massive 39% of ALL iPhone sales during 2018/19. Pretty remarkable, especially when you consider the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max had a head start on the market by getting an earlier release date.
iPhone Sales Figures 2018
- iPhone XR – 39%
- iPhone XS/XS Max – 26%
- iPhone 8 – 22%
As you can see, the iPhone XR has a clear advantage over its more expensive stablemates. Even the older iPhone 8 did impressively well. Again, this is likely down to its reduced pricing. Turns out Apple customers DO like value for money, after all!
iPhone Users Value Storage Capacity Over OLED Panels
One really interesting aspect of CIRP’s data is that it showed a clear correlation of iPhone users opting for higher storage models of the iPhone XR – the 256GB model. Around 38% of iPhone XR users opted to buy handsets with higher amounts of storage – up from 33% with the iPhone 8.
According to the data, Apple customers would rather pay slightly more a handset running an LCD display, than cough up a similar amount of money for less storage and an OLED display, as you get with entry-level models of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
What Does This Data Tell Us About The iPhone 12 Range?
Given how things have played out in 2019, it’s clear that Apple cannot afford to mess around with the pricing of its iPhone 12 range too much. Keeping the base model iPhone 12 in and around $699.99 would be the smartest move alongside minor increases in price for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models.
Another possibility is to do with 5G. Apple is rumored to be making six iPhone 12 handsets for 2020; three LTE models and three 5G models. Again, you’re looking at three iPhone 12 models, just with the options to have them in 5G as well. The 5G iPhone 12 models will likely be more expensive too, perhaps by as much as $100.
Still, Apple has to tackle year-on-year declines in sales for its iPhones, and to do this it will have to make sure that it positively NAILS its 2020 pricing structure for its new iPhone models. It cannot afford to do what Samsung is apparently about to do with its Galaxy S20 range (start prices at 900 EURO), as this would kill adoption.
Instead, Apple should stick to its guns and offer a mid-tier iPhone (the iPhone 12), a high-end iPhone (iPhone 12 Pro), and an ultra-high-end iPhone (iPhone 12 Pro Max). There is, of course, the possibility of the return of the iPhone SE as well. The iPhone SE 2 is rumored for 2020 and could see yet another lower price bracket for iPhones introduced, though these are just rumors at this point – nothing official has been said about the SE 2 yet.
If the iPhone SE 2 does launch in 2020, it’s likely it will be positioned as a true mid-tier phone with prices starting in and around $499. This approach, while very un-Apple, would give the company some presence in the ultra-competitive mid-tier markets, a place where Apple has traditionally not been found…
Either way, things look like they’re about to get very interesting for iPhone users in 2020…