Apple defies the odds with record iPhone shipments in Q2

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Pandemic iPhone: The 2020 iPhone SE seems perfect for the times.
iPhone SE was a big hit during the quarter.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The overall smartphone market in the United States declined 5% year-on-year in Q2, but Apple nonetheless set a new U.S. record by shipping 15 million iPhones domestically, a new Canalys report claims.

“With the launch of the iPhone SE, Apple’s quarterly market share ballooned to 47%,” the report reads. Between Apple and fellow smartphone market leader Samsung, seven out of the 10 smartphones made were manufactured by one of the two companies.

Surging iPad sales help Apple stay world’s No. 2 computer-maker

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MacBook, iMac and iPad are all computers
All of these are computers, and all contributed to Apple’s growing share of the global computer market.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Strong sales of iPad and Mac during Q2 2020 propelled Apple closer to taking the lead in the worldwide computer market. But they weren’t quite enough to push Lenovo out of the top spot, according to a market-research firm.

Still, the Mac-maker stayed ahead of rivals HP, Dell and Samsung as the global computer market grew 14% year over year.

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

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Apple has raised $220 million to fight AIDS-related deaths in Africa
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.

Smartphones are getting slaughtered, but iPhone fares better than most

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iPhone 11 Pro
Things were bad. For Apple, they could have been worse.
Photo: Daniel Romero/Unsplash

Smartphone shipments took a major tumble in the first quarter of 2020 as coronavirus wreaked havoc on the supply chain and demand. That’s the conclusion drawn by three of the top mobile-tracking research firms, Strategy Analytics, Canalys, and IDC.

While their numbers don’t all tally perfectly they tell the same overall picture. While Apple wasn’t immune to the decline, however, it fared better than some of its rivals.

Apple Watch rules the wearables roost in North America

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Apple Watch Series 4 Infogram Watch Face
Apple Watch is dominating in the United States.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch continues to storm ahead of the competition in the North American wearables market. In the second quarter of 2019, it carved a 37.9% market share, according to new figures released by Canalys.

The market research firm claims that Apple shipped 2.9 million units during the quarter. That’s considerably more than those shipped by Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin, or others.

Samsung steps up its battle against iPhone in Europe

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Canalys
Samsung dominated Apple's European market share last quarter.
Photo: Canalys

Apple had a disappointing last quarter in Europe, where iPhone market share fell by a significant 17%. Into the space previously held by Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi made the biggest gains.

Samsung grew its market presence by 20% versus this time last year. In doing so, it’s almost tripling Apple’s market share. Xiaomi, meanwhile, increased 48%, although it still lags behind Apple.

China overtakes U.S. as world’s biggest smart speaker market

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Are you a smart speaker user?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s biggest smart speaker market. According to new figures from Canalys, the Chinese market grew nearly 500% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019.

Approximately 10.6 million units shipped in China over the quarter, compared to 5 million in the U.S. This means that China is now 51% of the global global smart speaker market. The U.S., on the other hand, comes in second place at just 24%.

With smartphone sales in free fall, iPhone still dominates

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iPhone XR battery life is the best of any iPhone on the market.
iPhone XR dominates N. American phone sales.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Apple’s most affordable 2018 handset is a real hit in N. America. There were more than twice as many iPhone XR units shipped during the first three months of this year in this region as its next nearest competitor.

Even so, Apple and the entire phone business had a very weak first quarter.

Smart speaker installed base could top 200 million this year

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HomePod Volume Controls
Perhaps a rising tide of smart speaker sales will help HomePod.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The number of smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod in use around the world is expected to keep growing strongly for years to come. It could pass 200 million in 2019, and pass 500 million in 2023.

Analysts from Canalys indicate the installed base of these devices is now surpassing the number of smartwatches in use. And smart speakers could even outnumber tablets before the end of 2021, they say.

Apple’s iPhone sales problem isn’t limited to China

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iPhone sales
Critics say Apple needs to build more affordable iPhones.
Photo: Apple

China is not the only part of the world where Apple’s iPhone is losing market share to hard-charging Chinese brands.

Sales of the iPhone are falling off in Europe and Thailand, the second-biggest smartphone market in Southeast Asia, where shipments fell by more than 50 percent.