Independent technology analyst firm Canalys reported Tuesday that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shipped 29 million units of its top-of-the-line iPhone X in the fourth calendar quarter of 2017. That was enough to make the new device the top smartphone model during the 2017 holiday season.
According to Canalys, the sales surge was driven by upgrade demand in regions where Apple’s base is large and customers can finance the device’s base price of $999 over many months.
Of the quarterly sales total, the iPhone X shipped 7 million units to China.
Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said:
Apple struggled with supply issues in early November, but achieved a massive uplift in production in late November and throughout December. This helped it meet and even exceed demand in some markets by the end of the quarter. One major benefit to Apple is that customers are increasingly realizing the residual value of their old smartphones, opting for trade-in programs to offset the high price of the iPhone X. But that big price tag, and Apple’s split launch strategy, still had an impact, and shipments were not the fastest ever for an iPhone.
Shipments of SE, 6s, 7, and 8 models were also solid in the quarter and Wall Street appears to believe that total iPhone sales for the fourth quarter (Apple’s first fiscal quarter) could surpass 80 million units for the first time ever.
According to data reported Monday by CIRP, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X accounted for about 61% of all U.S. sales during the fourth quarter. The iPhone X alone accounted for about 20% of the quarter’s total sales while the 8 and the 8 Plus combined for about 40% of sales.