Apple hasn’t been been particularly transparent about the iPhone X’s numbers, in part because it’s a bit of a tricky new model. For starters, it’s a $999 phone. It’s also positioned against another premium iPhone model — which got a healthy jump-start on the pricier model.
That said, Canalys’ latest smartphone state of the union shows pretty healthy sales for the pricey new handset, putting it at 29 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of last year. That makes it the “world’s best-shipping smartphone model over the holiday season,” according to the analysts’ numbers.
Not a bad showing, all said, particularly given a price point that caused many to question Apple’s reasoning at launch. That was helped along by a ramp up in production, following some supply issues in early November. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if that temporary scarcity played a factor in accelerating sales by year’s end.
Even so, that falls short of initial analyst expectations. At the top of the year, some were projecting around 30 to 35 million for the last quarter of 2017, causing a readjustment in forecasts for Q1. Which is to say, when it comes to the success of a given smartphone, it’s all relative.
At the very least, this does offer some indication that customers are willing to pay top dollar for all the latest bells and whistles, even when a cheaper premium alternative is on the market at the same time. Of course, these are all analyst projections and probably ought to be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, these seem likely as close as we’ll get to official numbers for that specific time frame.
Another notable tidbit from the study: Roughly seven million of those iPhone X shipments are in China, where Apple’s had a bit of a bumpy ride when it comes to market share. The company had previously positioned its low-cost models like the 5c for that market in an attempt to compete against a bevy of low-cost domestic brands.
It seems the opposite is true with the X, which has reportedly been a hit in urban areas, where users are switching from flagship domestic brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.