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Smartphone market Q1 2018: Apple is doing just fine

pile of smartphones

Amid rumours that sales of its flagship smartphone have disappointed, Apple posted yet another set of impressive numbers.

The past few weeks saw a bunch of stories all claiming to have insight into the Apple supply chain, suggesting that the flagship iPhone X hasn’t been selling in anything near the volumes Apple was hoping for. Apparently it’s too expensive and the screen is too fragile.

Well Apple’s Q1 2018 numbers pretty much contradict those rumours, with Apple shifting 52.2 million iPhones in the quarter, a 3% increase on the year-ago quarter. Apple doesn’t publish splits by model, but iPhone revenues were up were up 14% annually, indicating an increased average selling price, which seems likely to be due to the X.

“Apple iPhone shipments have grown year-on-year in three of the past 4 quarters,” said Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics, from whom we derive much of the data in our smartphone shipment table. Apple’s ultra-premium iPhone X is proving relatively popular in some markets like China and the US, while there remains scope for additional expansion in emerging regions such as India and Africa.”

The other story of the quarter is the continued overall decline of the global smartphone market, with shipments falling by 2%, having fallen a fair bit in the previous quarter too. A lot of the reason for this will be China, which everyone seems to agree is in relatively steep decline, but it looks like replacement cycles are lengthening in developed markets too.

Q1 2018 smartphone table


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