Apple Estimated to Have Shipped 29 Million iPhone X Units in Q4 2017

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The latest data from research firm Canalys points to Apple shipping 29 million iPhone X units in Q4 2017. Out of this, Apple shipped a staggering 7 million units of the handsets in China alone.

The strong performance made the iPhone X the best-shipping smartphone over the 2017 holiday season. Its sales were largely driven by demand in operator-centric markets where Apple usually enjoys a high user base.

Despite such a strong performance, the iPhone X could not surpass many of the analysts’ expectations and could not beat the sales figure of many of the previous generation iPhones. However, one must remember that the iPhone X launched in early November and its supply was constrained in the first month of its launch.

“The iPhone X performance is impressive for a device priced at US$999, but it is slightly below industry expectations,” said Ben Stanton, Analyst at Canalys. “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.”

Despite the lower than anticipated sales, the iPhone X did exceedingly well for a device with a $999 price tag. Apple was also able to improve the supply of the handset before the key holiday season in major markets that helped it in meeting the excess demand during the period. Other iPhone models like the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE also did particularly well in Q4 2017 showing that there is still plenty of demand for them.

Overall, Canalys expects Apple to post its best quarter ever in terms of iPhone sales similar to other analysts and market expectations.

Our Take

Almost every major analytics firm has now corroborated that the iPhone X sold well despite its high price and delayed launch. However, the handset still did not do as well as many analysts had expected which again can be attributed to its high price and delayed launch. Nonetheless, with Apple preparing a complete revamp of its iPhone lineup for 2018 which includes a bigger 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, its likely that the company will end up seeing a supercycle of iPhone upgrades this year that will see it sell a record number of iPhones.

[Via Canalys]