iPhone shoppers prefer bargains to newest models

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Apple shipped millions of iPhone 7 units last quarter, maybe more than the iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Buyers just aren’t going for the latest iPhone models. An industry analyst says nearly half the handsets Apple shipped last quarter were older devices, not the company’s latest. 

Even worse, the Apple reportedly sold about 45 million devices, down about 13 percent from the same quarter a year ago. 

By talking to sources in the supply chain, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Mehdi Hossein said Apple shipped just 8 milliom iPhone X units in the first three months of this year. Created to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original iOS model, its $999 price put it out of the range of most consumers.

Without announcing specific numbers, Apple has pushed back against previous reports about weak iPhone X sales. “iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in February, “and it has been our top-selling phone every week since it launched.”

Today’s note from the Susquehanna analyst also said Apple shipped about 15 million iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units last quarter. These sell for $699 and $799, respectively. 

Bargain hunting

The remaining 22 million devices were  the iPhone SE ($349), iPhone 6S ($449), 6S Plus ($549),  iPhone 7 ($549) and 7 Plus ($669). It seems many customers prefer lower prices to the latest and greatest.

The newer devices have higher profit margins than the cheaper options, and so every customer who passes over a premium handset for an older one contributes a bit less to Apple’s bottom line. And if the company really did sell 13 percent fewer devices, then the 2017 lineup didn’t do great things for the company.

Apple is set to announce the results of its most recent financial quarter on May 1. Any lingering questions about iPhone sales will be answered then.