Sales of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 12 were expected to reach near-record levels for the 2020 holidays. The iPhone 12 is not only new. It has as a primary attraction that its works on new 5G superfast networks, which makes it the first iPhone with that capability. iPhone sales, both those of the iPhone 12, and other models, outdid expectations at an extraordinary level.
The research organization Flurry tracks smartphone activations, which is a solid proxy for sales. On Christmas, Apple smartphones held nine of the top 10 device activation spots. These included, in order from top to bottom, the iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8. In 10th place was the LG K30.
The sales by device were a mix of Apple’s most and least expensive models. The iPhone 12 Pro Max with 512 GB of storage runs as high as $1,399. An Apple iPhone 8, 64GB sells for as little as $225 on Amazon.com. And some large number of people wanted to spend at the lower end of the smartphone range, based on price. Flurry experts pointed out, “Apple’s budget device, the iPhone SE, as well as LG’s K30 saw the largest Christmas day surge compared to the prior 7-day average, with 34% and 181% increases, respectively.”
Price aside, the data mean that Apple easily bested its primary competition, which is Samsung. Its new Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is meant to compete directly with the iPhone 12.
Apple’s share price also depends on iPhone sales. The flagship Apple product continues to represent the lion’s share of its revenue. In the most recently reported quarter, Apple iPhone revenue was $26.4 billion of the $64.7 billion worldwide total. As iPhone sales rise due to the iPhone 12 launch, this percentage of total revenue may well go higher in 2021.
What the Flurry numbers show for certain is that, despite a number of smartphone rivals that compete with Apple at every price point, its sales remain remarkably strong. A 24/7 Wall St. story about sales forecasts reported:
According to a report in Nikkei Asia Tuesday, Apple … plans to produce as many as 96 million iPhones in the first half of 2021, a year-over-year increase of nearly 30%. For all of next year, Apple has drawn up a preliminary forecast for 230 million iPhones, an increase of 20% compared with production in 2019 and near its record production of 231.5 million iPhones in 2015.
Christmas shows Apple has a head start as it tries to reach those figures.