Apple is driving high-end online smartphone sales

By

2018 iPhone
Apple customers are loyal online shoppers, it seems!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Amazon is responsible for selling an ever-increasing number of smartphones in the U.S., but Apple isn’t doing badly for itself, either.

According to a new report from Counterpoint Research, the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone in both offline and online channels. In Q2, Apple managed to sell almost as many handsets in Q2 2018 as Best Buy’s online store, despite only selling iPhones, rather than a range of brands. It is also almost single-handedly driving high-end online sales.

Overall, the share of online smartphones to 13 percent of total U.S. smartphone sales in Q2, compared to 12 percent in the first three months of the year. Total sales, however, are down 12 percent from last year.

Counterpoint Research
How Apple stacks up online.
Photo: Counterpoint Research

Amazon proved to be the top online retailer for smartphones, accounting for 23 percent of total smartphones sold online in the U.S. Verizon was in second place, representing 12 percent of sales, while Best Buy came in third place with 9 percent, and Apple’s own site representing 8 percent.

The report notes that customers are more likely to buy sub-$100 phones in brick and mortar stores, while mid-tier and upper mid-tier phones in the $300 region do better online. Counterpoint doesn’t give sales figures, but it does note that online sales in the high end of the market are “mainly driven” by Apple’s online store.

Apple’s online presence

In all, the news is positive for Apple. Unlike some companies (see the Amazon Prime exclusives Moto G6 and Moto Z3), Apple doesn’t offer much in the way of online exclusives, although it clearly doesn’t need this to bring in the customers.

It’s also impressive to see Apple holding its own at a time when iPhones are pricier than ever. It speaks volumes about Apple’s brand awareness and overall familiarity with the iPhone that folks will happily cough up $1,000+ for an iPhone online, rather than wanting to buy it from the store.

Then again, Apple repeatedly performs well online. Previous studies have suggested that Apple users will spend around three times as much online as Android owners.

Source: Counterpoint Research