When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) first introduced iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max little did anyone know that the most expensive iPhone, ever launched by the world’s most valuable company, is going to be the most in demand. Many analysts believed that the sales of iPhone XS Max would largely be driven by the ultra-loyal fanboys of Apple in its homegrown market, only to realise later how incorrect they were then.
According to the latest report by the research from Canalys, China has outpaced US in term of Apple iPhone XS Max sales figure. In Q3 2018, Apple sold a total of 4.7 million units of iPhone XS Max, worldwide. And, it’s China that has accounted for a 45% share of the total worldwide sales of iPhone XS Max, leaving the US much behind.
What’s even more surprising is that China’s contribution to Apple’s iPhone XS Max sales is much greater than the rest of markets combined where the sales of iPhone XS Max kicked off in Q3 2018.
The primarily reason behind the impressive sales of iPhone XS Max in China was the availability of a physical dual-SIM functionality in the device.
It’s important to note that Apple launched iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max only by the end of September 2018. Hence, the sales figures of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are relatively low considering only 10 days of availability in Q3 2018.
Despite Apple tagging iPhone XS Max with the higher price, the sales of iPhone XS Max has outshined iPhone XS – an equally promising device available at a comparatively lesser price. The early sales trends made it clear that iPhone buyers were finding more value in iPhone XS Max than iPhone XS. As compared to 4.7 million units of iPhone XS Max sold globally in Q3 2018, Apple could sell only 3.3 million units of iPhone XS.
However, the scenario in Apple’s homegrown market is different than the global trend. Both the newly launched iPhones – iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – received an almost similar response from the market. In Q3 2018, Apple sold 1.2 million units of iPhone XS Max as compared to 1.02 million units of iPhone XS.
The report also indicates the weaker sales of iPhone XS Max outside the US and China. Nearly 3 out of every 4 units of iPhone XS Max were sold in the US and China market, combined, in Q3 2018. The sales performance of iPhone XS Max is in sharp contrast to iPhone XS. Nearly half of iPhone XS devices were sold outside the US and China during the same period.
With the strong sales of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, China has emerged as the most promising market for Apple. One-third of the combined worldwide sales of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max took place in China, generating over $4 billion in revenue for Apple within the first 10 days only.
The findings of the report are no less than a surprise, considering Apple has been facing the sharp criticism for making the price of iPhone XS Max look more awful than its predecessors. The contribution of iPhone XS Max to the overall sales of Apple in the US and China has once again proved that the success of any iPhone in developed countries is not pegged to price. But when it comes to developing markets, the scenario becomes upside down due to the price consciousness of consumers. While the US is still contributing a lion share to Apple’s quarterly revenue, China is slowly eclipsing Apple’s homegrown market when it comes to iPhone sales. The fast-changing equations indicate a lot about the future of iPhone – if only Apple could read.