analysis

Budget iPhones took a huge chunk of 2019 smartphone market

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iPhone 11 in a pocket
Only the iPhone XR was able to outsell the 6.1-inch iPhone 11 last year. iPhone sales dominated the market.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone XR took the top spot in the global 2019 phone sales, according to market researchers. And these analysts highlight that the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, a model only available in the final four months of 2019, also outsold every other handset.

Apple made six of the top 10 best-selling phones in 2019.

Spending on Apple services grows much faster than new iPhone sales

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The App Store is important to Apple Services
Surprisingly, the App Store makes up less than half of revenue from Apple Services.
Photo: Apple

Revenue from Apple services reportedly grew 16% year-over-year in 2019 even as sales of iPhones declined. This indicates this company’s growth doesn’t depend on increasing handset sales, according to a market analysis firm.

Investor optimism about Apple’s services may have helped increase its share price almost 2% in the last month.

iPhone utterly dominates US holiday smartphone sales

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iPhone 11 in a pocket
The iPhone 11, not the 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max, was the most gifted smartphone this holiday season.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Americans activated far more iPhones during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day than Samsung handsets, or those of any other rival, according to a market-research firm. Apple completely dominated holiday smartphone sales, making nine of the 10 most activated devices that week.

This is an important metric because it’s the busiest time of the year for device activations.

iPhone XR completely dominates Apple’s US sales

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
Sales of the iPhone XS and XS Max are dwarfed by the success of the iPhone XR.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone XR accounted for 38 percent of all Apple’s US handset sales during the first three months of this this year, according to a market research company.

Combined with the iPhone XS and XS Max, these 2018 models totaled 59 percent of all iOS handset sales in the US last quarter.

Apple and Amazon could hook up for health care

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Apple health care
Apple Watch ECG is one of the ways this company is getting into health monitoring.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple has made it clear it sees health monitoring as an important part of its business. And now analysts from Morgan Stanley are urging the company combine its efforts with Haven, a partnership of Amazon and others hoping to improve health care while also making it more affordable.

But it’s not clear how Apple would benefit from any such collaboration.

Apple won’t say how many iPhones it sold, but here’s a good guess

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
iPhone sales last quarter were down considerably year-over-year. But the company’s other products did quite well.
Photo: Apple

Not included in the Q4 financial results Apple just announced was the number of iPhone units sold. An analyst firm quickly filled in the gap, estimating that 65.9 million iOS handsets shipped in the last quarter of 2018, down significantly.

This is the first quarterly earnings announcement in which Apple didn’t reveal how many iPhone, Mac, and iPad units it had sold.

Most phone users comfortable with their screen time

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Gaming on iPhone XS
Most phone users have no problems how much they’re on it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Only a small percentage of phone users expressed real concerns in a recent survey about how much time they spend on their device. And a large number of respondents were fine with it.

Still, a significant percentage of people use the tools offered by Apple and others to track their screen time.

Fitbit finally becomes serious Apple Watch competitor

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Fitbit Versa
The Versa helped Fitbit's smartwatch shipments grow 348 percent.
Photo: Fitbit

Fitbit smartwatch shipments more than tripled last quarter. That pushed this company up to where it can actually begin to rival Apple Watch.

Apple still enjoys a commanding lead, but Fitbit managed to take a chunk out of its rival’s global market share.

Mac sales declined in Q3, despite new MacBook Pros

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2018 MacBook Pro
Even the shiny new 2018 MacBook Pro models couldn't save Mac sales last quarter.
Photo: Apple

The third quarter of this year wasn’t a particularly good one for Apple, with Mac sales dropping a significant amount. That doesn’t say positive things about sales of the 2018 MacBook Pro models that debuted this summer.

Still, the company held onto its place as the world’s fourth-largest PC maker.

Small phone screens go the way of the dodo

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iPhone SE 2 could cost $399 just like the first-gen iPhone SE
In just a few years this 4.7-inch iPhone screen will be considered tiny.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 8 display is 4.7 inches. Over the next few years, phone screen sizes are expected to grow to the point that only a tiny fraction will be that small.

Fortunately, it appears Apple is keeping up with the trend. In fact, it could be argued that the iPhone started it.

Apple Watch shipments almost double Fitbit’s

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Save big on the Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch dominates the global wearables market, solidly beating its arch-rival.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubt who’s top dog in the global wearables market. Just over 4 million Apple Watches shipped during the first quarter of this year. That’s nearly double the number of Fitbits shipped.

The performance of Apple’s wearable was also up dramatically when compared to the same period of last year.

iPhone bucks global smartphone market downward trend

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IDC global smartphone market
A sequential chart shows Apple was briefly at the top of the global smartphone market, but not in Q1.
Photo: Cult of Mac/IDC

The total number of smartphones shiped worldwide in the first quarter of the year declined, but Apple was immune, experiencing a small increase. Its share of the global market grew as a result.

Arch-rival Samsung was hit though, seeing a small decrease year over year despite the launch of its new flagship models.

iPhone X is the best selling smartphone in the world?

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iphone
According to a market research company, 5.1 percent of all smartphones sold globally in February were the iPhone X.
Photo: Apple

There’s been a lot of pessimism about the iPhone X lately, but a market research firm says that this device was the top selling smartphone in the world by a wide margin in February.

The company also says Apple had all four of the best selling smartphones globally that month. 

iPhone shipments up significantly in China

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Hong Kong police arrest smugglers with $1 million of iPhones and other devices
Hong Kong police arrest smugglers with $1 million of iPhones and other devices
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Shipments of iPhone in China increased 32 percent in the first quarter of this year. This was during a period when the overall Chinese handset market declined. 

Many Chinese see Apple devices as status symbols and pick them over local brands that cost significantly less.

How is the iPhone X selling?

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iPhone boot up
The iPhone X isn't a dud, but it also it's Apple's top seller.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 8 is Apple’s best-selling model, and the larger 8 Plus is in second place. The controversial iPhone X is currently Apple’s third best-selling model, according to a market analysis firm.

Apple’s older models make up 40 percent of the company sales, a higher percentage than last year.

iPhone X users love the ‘notch’

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iphone x
A survey shows 97 percent of iPhone X owners are satisfied with this device, including its screen cutout.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

More than 90 percent of iPhone X users like the design without a Home button, according to a scientific survey. That’s good news for Apple, as most of the 2018 models are expected to use a similar form factor.

That’s not to say there’s no room for improvement. The survey also pointed several aspects of the iPhone X that responders didn’t like as much.

Developers enjoy a huge boost from iOS 11’s App Store redesign

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iPhone App Store
The iPhone App Store is a sort of magazine about iOS software.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iOS App Store got a new look last fall, and the change has greatly benefited developers of third-party applications, as Apple intended. A new study found that getting named Game of the Day results in an 800 percent increase in downloads.

Inclusion in the other segments of the App Store Today screen brought improved performance as well.

iPhone shoppers prefer bargains to newest models

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iOS 11 Beta 4
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. 

Apple’s Fourth Quarter Financials At A Glance [Charts]

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bythenumbers

As you may have seen in our previous post on Apple’s fourth quarter (Q4) financial report, the Cupertino company has beat out Wall Street expectations this quarter, showing off a revenue of $37.5 billion with a hefty 7.5 billion profit to go along with it.

To help you make sense of Apple’s business this quarter, as well as some general trends of the last five years, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together some charts in an easy-to-read format to show you how the numbers break down, from revenue and profit margins to how many devices Apple is selling, to how much money it’s making from those sales.

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers in visual form, and see what we can take from it.

Could Indie Apple Observers Beat Wall Street Predictions — Again?

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The iPhone 5 probably won't look like this... or arrive in June.
The iPhone 5 probably won't look like this... or arrive in June.

The prevailing Wall Street consensus is that Apple will report later this month iPhone sales of around 29 million handsets. But one expert is questioning that figure, suggesting official analysts could be way too conservative amid yet another historic sales period for the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant.