Apple iPhone X saw shipments hit 29 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a release by research firm Canalys, which said this made it the “world’s best-shipping smartphone model” for the crucial holiday season. This report comes after other analyst reports which have cut down forecast for Apple iPhone X shipments citing tepid response to the company’s latest flagship.
According to the Canalys report, Apple iPhone X “adoption was driven by upgrade demand in operator-centric markets” where the company already enjoys a high installed base and customers pay for the model over months. Interestingly Apple shipped 7 million units for the iPhone X in China. The report stands in contrast to recent murmurings which have said the iPhone X has not done well in China, and might not even be retained after the summer of 2018. A report by analyst Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities said iPhone X could be axed once the new iPhones are launched in fall 2018.
But the Canalys report indicates iPhone X has seen a strong holiday quarter. “The iPhone X performance is impressive for a device priced at US$999, but it is slightly below industry expectations. Apple struggled with supply issues in early November, but achieved a massive uplift in production in late November and throughout December. This helped it meet and even exceed demand in some markets by the end of the quarter,” Ben Stanton, Analyst at Canalys said in a press statement.
However he added iPhone X did not see the fastest ever shipments for an iPhone model. “One major benefit to Apple is that customers are increasingly realising the residual value of their old smartphones, opting for trade-in programs to offset the high price of the iPhone X. But that big price tag, and Apple’s split launch strategy, still had an impact, and shipments were not the fastest ever for an iPhone,” said Stanton.
According to Canalys’ report, older iPhone models like the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 also shipped well in Q4 and they remain popular with users looking for value for money devices. Canalys predicts Apple will have its best performance in Q4, 2017.
“Apple is looking at its best performance to date, all thanks to the massive changes it made to its portfolio in Q3. This strategy has hedged Apple’s risk as it upgrades the iPhone, in both design and user experience. While new technologies, such as Face ID and bezel-less displays, help to justify the US$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,” Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen said.