AirPods most popular brand in ‘hearables’ market

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AirPods sales
35 million pairs of AIrPods sold in 2018.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple sold some 35 million AirPods last year. That makes the wireless earbuds, which had a rocky rollout, the most popular “hearables” device in the U.S., according to Counterpoint Research.

But Apple has competition within earshot from Sony and Samsung, both of which are only a couple of percentage points off in market share and are expected to grow.

Apple completely dominates premium smartphone sales

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iPhone X
Sales of the iPhone X were vastly higher than the equivalently-priced Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Samsung sells more phones than Apple, and its high-end devices like the Galaxy S9 get lots of attention. That means Samsung sells as many top-tier models as Apple, right? Nope, not even close.

Apple sells close to twice as many premium phones as its top rival. In this case, “premium” is any handset costing over $400. Which is a fairly low bar.

Apple loses marketshare but still makes the most money

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Apple profits
Apple can afford to lose some marketshare because of how profitable it is.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple is the headline in two new studies. One seems alarming as it shows Apple’s share in the smartwatch market has declined by 14 percent.

But the second study shows Apple as the biggest money maker in the smartphone market by a long shot. Thanks to iPhone X, Apple held 62 percent of the market share in Q2. Its closest rival, Samsung, has suffered double-digit sales losses and is a distant second at 17 percent.

The most popular Apple Watch probably isn’t the model you’d expect

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Apple Watch
Apple Watch Series 1 continues to rule the roost.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch Series 3 is easily the best Apple Watch so far, but you wouldn’t know it from sales. Although Apple continues to lead the smartwatch industry, a massive 9 out of 10 Apple Watches sold are the older Apple Watch Series 1.

That’s markedly different from the smartphone industry, where Apple’s newest iPhone tends to be the world’s most popular (and certainly Apple’s most popular) handset. That’s even true when it’s a device like the iPhone X that are much pricier than older models.

Apple is driving high-end online smartphone sales

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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.

Apple struggles big-time to sell iPhones in India

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India3
Three members of Apple's India team have left the company as a result.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Three members of Apple’s executive team in India have departed, due to the company’s ongoing struggle to boost iPhones sales in the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market.

The execs include Apple’s national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of telecom carrier sales. Apple’s Indian sales team is now restructuring as a result.