Apple’s iPhone XR lead all smartphone models in the first half of 2019, with worldwide shipments amounting to 26.9 million units, according to the latest Smartphone Model Market Tracker report from IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech.
A total of 13.6 million iPhone XRs shipped in the first quarter, followed by 13.3 million in the second quarter. When totaling these quarters, Apple shipped slightly more than twice as many iPhone XRs during the first half than the second most popular smartphone model—Samsung’s Galaxy A10—which totaled 13.4 million units during the six-month period.
“Compared to the Android-based smartphone makers, Apple maintains a relatively small model lineup,” said Jusy Hong, research and analysis director at IHS Markit | Technology. “This means that Apple’s total sales volume is divided among fewer models. As a result, each of Apple’s iPhone models tends to generate higher shipment numbers than comparable Android smartphones, such as those sold by Samsung.”
Because of Apple’s conservative approach to its product line, three iPhone models managed to rank among the top-10 most popular smartphones in the first half, with the iPhone 8 coming in at fourth place and the iPhone Xs Max placing ninth—along with the XR at No. 1.
Apple has been benefitting from this strategy for some time, with the company’s iPhones ranking at the top of the market—despite the fact that the company is not the leading smartphone shipper worldwide. However, the number of iPhones in the Top 10 has declined since last year. Looking back to first half of 2018, three iPhones—the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus—made up the global Top three. Moreover, five iPhones in total ranked among the Top 10 in the first half of 2018, including the iPhone 7 and 6.
Vintage iPhones appeal to cost-conscious consumers
The iPhone 8—a two-year-old model released in September 2017—shipped 10.3 million units in the first half. Sales of this model have remained high since launch, despite its age.
“With the prices of Apple’s latest iPhones weighing on consumers’ budgets, many iPhone customers are opting to pick older models instead,” Hong said. “This trend has caused the shipment volume of the two-year-old iPhone 8 to outperform most of Apple’s newer devices, including the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.”
While Apple’s iPhone line remains small, the company is making moves to expand it, releasing three new models at its annual launch events since 2017. The company also continues to sell some older models.
Samsung places four models among Top 10, but flagship devices go missing
Samsung took the second and third positions in the first half, with its Galaxy A10 and A50 smartphones generating shipment volumes of 13.4 million and 12.0 million units respectively. These two models are low- and mid-tier smartphones released in the first quarter. Volumes for both phones soared in the second quarter.
None of Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S10 series devices were able to enter the Top 10 during the first half of this year. The company’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus ranked fifth and sixth in the first half of 2018.
“Although Samsung managed to get four models into the Top 10 ranking, the absence of its latest flagships represents a significant challenge for the company,” Hong said.
“However, increased shipments in the Galaxy A-series indicate Samsung was successful in its change of strategy near the end of 2018, when the company began to rethink how new technologies should be introduced into its overall device portfolio. The company is showing more flexibility in bringing new technologies to non-flagship devices first—allowing Samsung to reach expanding market segments more quickly than before.”.
Success in India drives Xiaomi’s unit scale
Xiaomi has two models in the Top 10, placed in fifth and sixth place respectively. Both models exceeded 10 million shipments in the first half. Thanks to Xiaomi’s success in India, the company’s low-end smartphone models recorded the largest volume among all the firm’s models.
In the second quarter of this year, the average selling price for the Xiaomi Redmi 6A was less than $70, while the Redmi Note 7 sold for less than $150. The Redmi 6A successfully replaced last year’s Redmi 5A; both models shipped more than 10 million units each year.
Only six individual smartphone models exceeded 10 million shipped units in the first half of this year. In the Top 10 ranking this year, Samsung has four models, Apple has three, Xiaomi has two and OPPO just one.
Global No. 2 missing from the Top 10
Missing from the Top 10 list is Huawei, which shipped 58.7 million units globally in the second quarter of 2019, and 123.9 million for the first half of this year. The No. 2 smartphone maker was not able to reach the Top 10 with any of its models. The closest Huawei came to the Top 10 was with the Y9 smartphone, which shipped 8.7 million units in the first half. The closest flagship device for Huawei is the P30, with 5.3 million units shipped so far this year.