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.

February smartphone shipments hit historic low

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iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Smartphone shipments, including iPhones, were significantly down in February.
Photo: Apple

Worldwide smartphone shipments took a much-anticipated nosedive in the month of February as the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread around the globe.

Strategy Analytics reported Friday a 38% drop in shipments, the worst ever since smartphone sales began more than a decade ago.

Apple Watch now makes up almost half of all smartwatch shipments

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Apple Watch thieves arrested after owner 'pings' device during police search
Apple Watch has been a massive hit for Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch continues to cement its position as the undisputed ruler of the smartwatch industry. According to new research from Strategy Analytics, overall smartwatch shipments grew 42% year-on-year in Q3 2019 to reach 14 million units. Of these, Apple Watch accounted for 6.8 million devices.

That means that approximately one out of every two smartwatches shipped in the quarter was an Apple Watch.

The average iPhone has been active for 18 months

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iPhone XS box gold
People are holding onto their smartphones for longer than ever.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The average iPhone has been active for 18 months, a new report from Strategy Analytics suggests. That compares to 16.5 months for Samsung handsets.

Overall, it seems that people are upgrading their phones at a slower rate. That’s reportedly as a result of “diminishing innovation,” which provides less of a reason to do so. It also likely has a whole lot to do with increased prices.

Apple Watch continues to run roughshod over the competition

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Apple-Watch-4
Almost 1 out of every 2 smartwatches shipped last quarter was an Apple Watch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch continues to dominate the fast-growing global smartwatch market, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics.

The firm notes that smartwatch shipments grew 44% in the second quarter of 2019. In total, 12 million smartwatches shipped — with Apple Watch making up almost one out of every two smartwatches sold.

Apple Watch continues to be the biggest player in smartwatches

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App Home Screen Apple Watch Series 4
More than half of holiday smartwatch sales were Apple Watches.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

A record 18 million smartwatches sold in the final three months of 2018 — and Apple Watch made up more than half of them.

That’s according to the latest global sales research figures from Strategy Analytics. The firm suggests that Apple Watch represented 51 percent of global smartwatch sales. Samsung took second place, followed by Fitbit, and Garman.

HomePod sold 1.6 million units over the holidays

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The HomePod is a lot smarter than you might think. Just take a look at these tips!
HomePod is Apple's take on the smart speaker.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker experienced 45 percent growth in the holiday quarter, according to new figures. Strategy Analytics’ report suggests that Apple sold 1.6 million HomePod speakers over the three month period.

Those numbers still put it firmly behind market leaders like Amazon and Google. Nonetheless, they show that Apple is continuing to benefit from the explosion of interest in smart speakers.

iPad Pro’s winning redesign takes sting out of iPhone slump

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2018 iPad Pro Smart Keyboard
The launch of the 2018 iPad Pro gave Apple a stellar holiday season in tablet sales.
Photo: Apple

iPad shipments grew by double digits last quarter, giving Apple its best holiday period for tablet sales since 2015.  Shipments of slates and 2-in-1s had dropped earlier in the year, but analysts correctly predicted this was the result of people holding off for the new iPad Pro.

Some of Apple’s rivals also saw gains at the end of 2018.

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.

High prices are killing iPhone in China

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Chinese iPhone shoppers have gone from thrilled to shocked at prices, leaving Apple crying.
Chinese iPhone shoppers have gone from thrilled to shocked at prices, leaving Apple crying.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The Chinese phone market cratered in the final quarter of 2018, but iPhone sales in the country did even worse.

This poor showing is primarily a result of the high prices Apple charges for its handsets, according to an industry analyst.