Apple was the only smartphone maker to grow over the past quarter

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iPhone's about the only smartphone thriving during lockdown.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has defied the odds by consistently growing its business through the COVID-19. But just how amazing that is isn’t apparent until you compare Apple’s iPhone success in Q2 to other smartphone makers.

According to a new report by research company Canalys, Apple was the only vendor to grow its smartphone shipments during the April through June quarter. Apple shipments increased 25% from the previous year. That made it the only smartphone maker to experience positive growth during the period.

Overall, the smartphone market declined to 285 million units shipped worldwide. This is a decline of 14%. It’s also, Canalys said, the second consecutive quarter of “freefall” for smartphones. Every major company lost ground during the quarter. Every company, that is, except for Apple.

Canalys Q2
How Apple measured up to the competition.
Photo: Canalys

Apple: Defying smartphone expectations in Q2

“Apple defied expectations in Q2,” said Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke. “Its new iPhone SE was critical in the quarter, accounting for around 28% of its global volume, while iPhone 11 remained a strong best-seller at nearly 40%. iPhone SE will remain crucial to prop up volume this year, amid delays to Apple’s next flagship release. In China, it had blockbuster results, growing 35% to reach 7.7 million units. It is unusual for Apple’s Q2 shipments to increase sequentially. As well as the new iPhone SE, Apple is also demonstrating skills in new user acquisition. It adapted quickly to the pandemic, doubling down on the digital customer experience as stay-at-home measures drive more customers to online channels.”

What’s particularly impressive to me about Apple’s success during the quarter is how many potential pain points it needs to navigate. Coronavirus has decimated economies, greatly reducing the amount of money many worried consumers are willing to spend. Stores have been closed and, where they have reopened, have much lower footfall than usual. Tensions between the U.S. and China continues to cause political strife which affects companies that operate in both markets. And there’s still the knock-on effects of factories having been shuttered earlier this year due to the pandemic.

The fact that Apple is thriving in this environment, frankly, says a whole lot. Roll on the iPhone 12!

Source: Canalys