Apple’s iPhone XR has been named the best-selling smartphone in North America in the first quarter of 2019, with more than 4.5 million XR devices shipped in the period.
According to Canalys, iPhone XR commanded 13% of all smartphone sales in the first three months of 2019, whilst the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10e came out in second and third place respectively, with a 6% share of smartphone sales each in the same period.
Although Apple came out on top as having the best-selling smartphone in the quarter, the company saw a 19% draw in year-on-year shipments as competition from rival manufacturers increases and Apple struggles to convince consumers to stick with iOS, and as the smartphone market saturates with consumers upgrading less frequently.
Indeed, the company shipped 14.6 million devices in the first quarter of the year, which is down 3.3 million units on the 17.9 million sold in the same comparable period last year.
However, Apple was still able to maintain its 40% overall market share, compared to Samsung’s 29.3%, LG’s 13.3%, Lenovo’s 6.5%, and TCL’s 4%. Others make up 6.8%.
Speaking of the news, Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke said: “Apple’s fall in Q1 followed particularly high shipments of flagship iPhones in the previous quarter, but there was a disconnect between channel orders and consumer demand, which then caused early shipments in Q1 to be challenging for Apple.
“But moving into March, we did see an uptick in iPhone XR shipments, an early sign that these challenges may be starting to ease at home. Apple has shown how vital trade-ins have become by moving the mechanism to the front and center of its ordering process, and it now frequently uses the net price in its flagship iPhone marketing.
Challenges ahead for Apple
“The momentum of trade-in promotions in Q2 and Q3 will determine the extent to which Apple can counter negative market forces, such as longer device lifecycles. But the key challenge in coming months remains that its latest iPhones are just not different enough, though new ones are on the way. For its performance to improve in 2020, Apple will need to emphasize radical new features that are most likely to impress consumers.”
According to the latest rumors, this year’s trio of iPhones will be incremental updates rather than overhauls, although a new camera could encourage consumers to upgrade to the iPhone XI, XI Max, and the XR replacement the XE.
We’ll know for sure when Apple lifts the lid on all three devices at this year’s September event, which date is yet to be announced.
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