Podcast #72: G+D – Growth + Disruption in Connectivity, Security and Beyond

The launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 in the US in 2022 was a landmark moment in eSIM growth and adoption. In our previous podcast series, we talked to experts about eSIM testing, interoperability, and how component shortages were leading to migration from physical SIM to eSIM. Continuing with the eSIM theme, we talked to Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), one of the leaders in Counterpoint’s Global eSIM Scorecard.

G+D has a long 170-year history going from banknote security to becoming a leading eSIM technology innovator. We discuss G+D’s pioneering role in delivering the world’s first commercial SIM card and its subsequent leadership in eSIM solutions. The conversation also highlights eSIM complexities, emphasis on education, industry collaborations for streamlined adoption, and future trends, including IoT advancements with SGP.32.

In this latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Mohit Agrawal is joined by Sören Haubold, Head of Market Intelligence and Analyst Relations at G+D to discuss G+D’s journey, the early days of eSIM introduction, subscription management, and testing. They also touch upon the inflection point of the eSIM-only iPhone 14, and more.

Click the play button to listen to the podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

 01:42 – Sören talks about G+D’s history, background in the industry, and digital transformation.

04:53 – Sören talks about G+D’s 32-year journey from SIM cards to eSIM.

06:15 – Sören talks about what puts G+D ahead of the competition and makes it a leader in this field.

07:20 – G+D was one of the first eSIM players. Sören talks about how it all happened, from subscription management to testing with telecom operators and more.

10:15 – Sören talks about the eSIM inflection point and factors leading to its growth.

13:51 – The eSIM-only iPhone in 2022 was a landmark moment for eSIMs, but what exactly changed leading to so many transactions, Sören explains.

20:23 – Sören on what the industry should be doing to increase eSIM awareness.

 24:36 – Sören talks about the exciting eSIM trends for IoT and the overall industry to look for in 2024.

Also available for listening/download on:


2023 Global Smartphone Shipments to Hit Lowest Level in Almost a Decade

  • Global smartphone shipments in 2023 are expected to shrink by 5% YoY to reach 1.2 billion.
  • However, the shipments are expected to increase by 3% YoY in Q4 2023.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro series’ share in the overall iPhone 15 series is projected to increase to 65% in Q4 2023.
  • India will become Apple’s new growth focus, but the brand’s underperformance in China will hinder its growth in 2024.

London, San Diego, Seoul, New Delhi, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong – November 30, 2023

Global smartphone shipments in 2023 are projected to decline 5% YoY to reach 1.2 billion, the lowest level in almost a decade, according to Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone 360 Global Smartphone Shipment Forecast. However, the shipments are expected to increase by 3% YoY in Q4 2023 to reach 312 million units.

North America (NAM) and Europe’s shipments are expected to remain stagnant. But China and emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and India have managed to break out from their declines and will recover to become the new drivers of growth in the smartphone market from Q4 2023 onwards.

Apple, the usual market leader in Q4 with its newly launched series, is expected to record a volume decline of 3% YoY in Q4 2023, mainly due to Huawei’s aggressive expansion in China and prolonged delay in smartphone upgrades in Japan. However, Apple will try to offset the underperformance in volume terms by growing in value terms with a better product mix. In Q4 2022, the shipment share of the iPhone 14 Pro series in the entire iPhone 14 series was 61%. In Q4 2023, however, the iPhone 15 Pro series’ portion in the iPhone 15 series is projected to increase to 65%.

Global Smartphone Market Shipments, 2013-2024F

Global Smartphone Market Shipments, 2013-2024F
Source: Counterpoint Research

After destocking efforts end with a relatively healthy inventory by the year-end, smartphone shipments in 2024 are projected to grow by 3% YoY. We can also expect a recovery focused on emerging markets, backed by increasing consumer confidence and improving macroeconomic conditions.

Apple will be just in line with the market growth in 2024 while facing pressures in its traditional markets. The retention of high interest rates in the US, which hit consumer spending, and intensifying competition in China’s premium smartphone market, mainly due to Huawei, are expected to hinder Apple’s growth throughout 2024.

Huawei, driven by its newly launched Mate 60 5G series and older P-series 4G devices, recorded an enormous success in Q3 2023. Assuming that Huawei can expand the production of its Kirin SoCs via partnerships, the brand is expected to continue to grow 37% YoY in 2024.

Associate Director Liz Lee said, “India, maintaining its momentum for premiumization, is expected to become Apple’s new growth focus. Apple’s India shipments are predicted to grow 23% YoY in 2024. However, due to its underperformance against Huawei in China, Apple’s global market share will unavoidably decline slightly YoY in Q4 2023 and across 2024.”


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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Podcast #67: Interoperability and Testing Essential to eSIM Ecosystem’s Success

2022 was a landmark year for the eSIM ecosystem. eSIM adoption has accelerated around the world and is now rapidly moving towards becoming the preferred mode of connectivity. Consumer interest in eSIM is at an all-time high, profile downloads have increased exponentially and newer players are entering the market – all signs of an ecosystem on the rise.

Most premium smartphones now come with an embedded SIM (eSIM) as it is more advantageous than a physical SIM for OEMs, operators and consumers. We’ve already seen an eSIM-only iPhone 14 in September last year. It is possible that in the coming years, most premium smartphones may not have a physical SIM at all. But it is not just smartphones, even companion devices like tablets, smartwatches and other IoT devices are now adopting eSIM. However, because eSIMs are not removable like physical SIMs, testing for profile suitability and interoperability becomes extremely important.

But how does eSIM testing work? What is the process? Which companies help in such testing? We discuss all that and more in our podcast with Comprion, which is a German company that specializes in eSIM testing.

In the latest episode of “The Counterpoint Podcast,” host Ankit Malhotra is joined by Marcus Dormanns, Director of Product Management and Business Development at Comprion. The discussion touches on several topics including the technical process of testing an eSIM, interoperability with different network providers, the time taken for testing, and more.

Click to listen to the podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers:

0:52 – Marcus Dormanns introduces Comprion.

2:25 – Dormanns talks about Comprion’s history in eSIM testing.

3:18 – Dormanns explains the technical details of eSIM testing.

5:19 – We deep dive to understand how eSIM testing is different from testing a physical SIM.

6:29 – Dormanns explains why the process of eSIM testing is not talked about much in public.

7:54 – How interoperability of eSIM is tested with different carriers.

09:55 – How correct 4G and 5G profiles are loaded in eSIM?

11:36 – Dormanns sheds more light on Comprion’s partnership with TCA for interoperability service.

13:52 – How long does it take for an operator to complete the eSIM testing process?

15:29 – Dormanns talks about the big trends developing in the eSIM space.

17:51 – As networks are becoming more complex, does it impact eSIM profiles and testing?

18:38 – What is the role of regulatory bodies in eSIM testing?

Also available for listening/download on:


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White Paper: eSIM 2.0: Managing eSIM at Scale

eSIM: Managing eSIM at scale


PDF | 11 pages
Published date: June 7th 2023

Embedded SIMs (eSIMs) have been around for many years now, promising multiple benefits over physical SIMs (pSIMs), such as low cost, faster provisioning, flexible lifecycle management, enhanced security and next-level customer experience.

However, eSIM adoption has been slower than initially expected. The industry was stuck in a vicious cycle of fewer devices, low consumer interest and half-hearted interest from telcos. The industry was in dire need of a wake-up call or an inflection point, which was delivered with the launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 in the US in September 2022.

The eSIM-only iPhone 14 triggered not only the launch of more eSIM devices and increased consumer interest but also pushed telcos to prioritize, identify and deploy highly interoperable and scalable eSIM orchestration systems. With this inflection point, the mobile industry embarks into the eSIM 2.0 era.

However, telcos need these systems to maximize operational efficiencies and build seamless digital experiences for their customers. Workz, one of the world’s leading end-to-end eSIM technology companies, is well positioned to offer innovative solutions such as Workz’s Multi-tenant eSIM Hub (MeSH) which will accelerate telcos’ digitization journeys in the eSIM 2.0 era.

  • Executive Summary
  • eSIM 2.0: eSIM Growth and Opportunities
  • eSIM 2.0: Growing Telco Challenges
  • eSIM 2.0: Workz’s MeSH the Way Forward
  • eSIM 2.0: Key Takeaways



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Global Smartphone Market Declines 14% YoY in Q1 2023; Apple Records Highest-Ever Q1 Share

  • The global smartphone market declined by 14% YoY and 7% QoQ to record 280.2 million unit shipments in Q1 2023.
  • Samsung replaced Apple as the top smartphone player in Q1 2023, driven by its mid-tier A Series and the recently launched S23 series.
  • Apple’s YoY shipment decline was the least among the top five brands. Consequently, it recorded its highest-ever Q1 share of 21%.
  • Global smartphone revenues declined by 7% YoY to around $104 billion. Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi increased their Average Selling Prices YoY.

London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Denver, Buenos Aires – May 5, 2023

The global smartphone market faced further contraction in the post-holiday-season quarter with shipments declining by 14% YoY and 7% QoQ to 280.2 million units in Q1 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.

Quarterly global smartphone market
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Preliminary Data, Q1 2023
Note: OPPO Includes OnePlus

Commenting on overall market dynamics, Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia said, “Smartphone shipments declined further in Q1 2023 following the weakest holiday-season quarter since 2013, as the slower-than-expected recovery in China was marred by alarming bank failures on both sides of the Atlantic further weakening consumer confidence in the face of unrelenting market volatility. The smartphone market was also hit by some major brands supplying fewer new devices to a market struggling with high inventories at a time when consumers are choosing to renew less often, but with more durable smartphones when they do buy.”

Consequently, global smartphone revenue and operating profit also declined, although not as much as shipments. This was due, in part, to the lower-than-usual decline in Apple’s shipments, to 58 million units in Q1 2023. Apple thereby managed to capture nearly half of all smartphone revenues. While Samsung’s shipments declined 19% YoY despite growing by 4% QoQ to 60.6 million units, the launch of the Galaxy S23 series enabled Samsung’s ASP to increase to $340, up 17% YoY and 35% QoQ, which in turn contributed to global revenues falling relatively less. Apple and Samsung also remain the most profitable brands, together capturing 96% of global smartphone operating profits.

Major handset vendor's shipment
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Preliminary Data, Q1 2023
Note: OPPO Includes OnePlus

Commenting on Apple’s performance, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “Apple outperformed the market due to several factors. Firstly, the stickiness of its ecosystem prevents its customers from choosing a cheaper smartphone even in times of economic difficulty. Secondly, with sustainability becoming a priority for many, not only has Apple captured nearly half of the secondary market, it is also attracting users who are willing to spend more for longer-lasting devices. Thirdly, it is the preferred brand for Gen Z consumers in the West and is thereby positioning itself for sustained success. At the same time, it has been filling the void left by Huawei in China’s premium market. So, Apple is able to weather economic and other fluctuations better than its rivals while enjoying unflinching loyalty. This also meant Apple was able to meet the demand for the iPhone 14 series which spilt over Q4 2022, when it had problems at its Zhengzhou factory, rather than that share dissipating or transferring to rivals.”


Besides Samsung and Apple, the biggest global smartphone brands from China, Xiaomi, OPPO* and vivo, will have to wait longer for their shipments to rebound as each of them experienced double-digit annual declines in Q1 2023. This was due to a seasonal slowdown in China at a time when the country’s economic recovery is taking longer than expected. OPPO* has recently been facing challenges in overseas markets too. It has had to exit the German market after losing a patent lawsuit with Nokia. At the same time, the three brands’ revenues and profitability have struggled too. While OPPO* and vivo saw both annual shipment and ASP declines, leading to double-digit revenue declines, Xiaomi’s slight annual ASP growth could also not prevent a double-digit revenue decline in Q1 2023.

The smartphone market as a whole, too, is likely to struggle for the next couple of quarters. Commenting on the near-term outlook, Research Director Tarun Pathak said, “The persistent issues affecting the smartphone market are unlikely to abate anytime soon. Moreover, the recent decision by OPEC countries to cut oil production may lead to higher inflation rates, causing a reduction in consumers’ spending power. As a result, even if the decline in smartphone shipments stabilises, a significant recovery is unlikely before the year-end holiday quarter.”

*OPPO includes OnePlus

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share for WorldUSChina and India.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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Feel free to reach us at for questions regarding our latest research and insights.


Analyst Contacts

Harmeet Singh Walia

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Tarun Pathak

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Prachir Singh

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2022 Global Smartphone Shipments Lowest Since 2013; Apple Regained No. 1 Rank with Highest-Ever Operating Profit Share of 85%

  • The global smartphone market declined by 18% YoY to reach 304 million units in Q4 2022.
  • Apple replaced Samsung as the top smartphone player in Q4 2022, driven by the recent launch of the iPhone 14 series.
  • The 2022 global shipments declined by 12% to 1.2 billion units, the lowest since 2013.
  • Global smartphone revenue declined by 9% to $409 billion, the lowest since 2017.
  • Apple achieved its highest-ever global smartphone shipment, revenue and operating profit share in 2022.

London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Denver, Buenos Aires – February 3, 2023

The global smartphone market remained under pressure in Q4 2022 with shipments declining by 18% YoY to the lowest level for a holiday quarter since 2013, even as they grew by 1% QoQ to 303.9 million units, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. Shipments for the full year 2022 also declined to 1.2 billion units, the lowest since 2013.

Commenting on overall market dynamics, Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia said, “The war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, economic uncertainty and macroeconomic headwinds kept the consumer sentiment weak in 2022 while smartphone users reduced the frequency of their purchases. The smartphone market remained under pressure in the fourth quarter of 2022 as the cost-of-living crisis, shortage in the labor market and a decline in consumers’ purchasing power resulted in double-digit declines in the shipments of each of the top five smartphone players.”

Consequently, global smartphone revenue and operating profit also saw a decline, although to a lesser degree than in shipments. An increased mix of premium phone offerings by major OEMs drove up the overall average selling price (ASP) by 5% YoY in 2022. The 9% decline in revenue, while lower than in shipments, resulted in annual smartphone revenues amounting to $409 billion, the lowest since 2017. A larger decline was prevented by a 1% growth in Apple, the only top five smartphone OEM to do so.

Commenting on Apple’s performance, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “having proficiently managed its production problems, Apple was able to weather a year already marred by economic and geopolitical turmoil better than other major smartphone players. Its iPhone Pro series continued performing well and its share of iPhone shipments could have been even higher if not for the production issues caused by the COVID-19 breakout at the Zhengzhou factory, which produces the vast majority of Pro series volumes. As a result, some Pro series volumes got pushed to January.”

Consequently, its shipment, revenue and operating profit declined YoY in Q4 2022. However, it outperformed a struggling smartphone market in terms of shipment, revenue and operating profit growth, in turn achieving its highest-ever shares of 18%, 48% and 85% in these metrics respectively, in 2022.

Apple also benefited from the premium segment, its primary constituency, being less severely affected by the economic and geopolitical uncertainties that marred the year. Moreover, mature smartphone users are now choosing premium devices that last longer.

Elaborating on the ‘premiumization’ trend, Research Director Tarun Pathak said, “premiumization can also be seen within the Android ecosystem and is being led by Samsung with its foldable smartphones. As a result, Samsung was the only top five OEM besides Apple to see a 1% growth in revenue, even though its shipments declined by 5% in 2022 and operating profit declined by 1%. The performance of its flagship smartphones was stronger than market projections. Nevertheless, with a smaller profit decline than the overall smartphone market, its operating profit share increased slightly to 12% in 2022.”

Chinese smartphone players suffered from domestic lockdowns for much of the year in addition to facing global economic and geopolitical difficulties. As a result, the shipments of Xiaomi, OPPO* and vivo fell by more than 20% each. Despite offering premium phones at aggressive margins, Chinese brands are yet to make headway in the premium market and have not been able to capitalize completely on Huawei’s decline. Unsurprisingly, then, their revenue as well as operating profit saw double-digit declines.

We expect the market to remain under pressure until the end of the first half of 2023 and to start recovering thereafter.


*OPPO includes OnePlus from Q3 2021


You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share for WorldUSChina and India.

Related Posts


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.


Feel free to reach us at for questions regarding our latest research and insights.


Analyst Contacts

Harmeet Singh Walia

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Tarun Pathak

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Jan Stryjak

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MVNOs World Digital Symposium: Dec 7-8, 2022

Our Research Vice President Neil Shah will be speaking at the MVNOs World Digital Symposium on 8th December 2022. The session will be moderated by our Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra.


Title: Analyst Address: How the eSIM-only iPhone 14 will catalyze eSIM adoption across MVNOs
Date: Thursday, December 08, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes



  • Ankit Malhotra, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research


Registration link below:


MVNOs World Digital Symposium
Future-Proof your MVNO

According to forecasts, the global MVNO market will continue to grow over the next five years. The increasing demand is led by the demand for low tariff network services among consumers as well as 5G-enabled services across consumer and IoT.

Investment in 5G, eSIM and digital infrastructure is enabling new business models, applications, services, and solutions across the consumer and B2B markets.

In the consumer segment, MVNOs are able to offer compelling value-added services which include OTT partners and fixed-wireless solutions. Whilst in B2B, more and more MVNOs are offering IoT-specific connectivity, unified communications and more.

The challenge for MVNOs is to identify the right opportunities to go after and to ensure your business is set up to capitalise.

The MVNOs World Digital Symposium 2022 will focus on these areas and more.

Podcast #58 – Component Shortage: Will it drive the eSIM migration?

The COVID-19-led semiconductor shortage disrupted the supply chains of several industries. The shortage also accelerated lead times for key components such as chipsets, DDIs & PMICs that power all electronics around us. While the auto sector was heavily affected, telecom operators were also struck due to the lack of physical SIM cards as SIM plants shifted their production to higher-value technologies.

With no significant CapEx investment in mature nodes, SIM shortage means telcos cannot activate new subscriptions, potentially losing customers and market share. And while mobile network operators have been resistant to moving to eSIM, the eSIM is still gathering pace. Premium flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple come with one physical SIM slot and one eSIM. Even the latest iPhone 14 series in the US ditches the physical SIM slot altogether and comes with eSIM-only capabilities.

With component shortages expected to continue until 2023, how do the mobile network operators reorganize their supply chain and forecast SIM needs in advance? We discuss all this and more in the podcast.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Counterpoint’s Senior Analyst William Li, and Olivier Leroux, President and Founder of Oasis Smart-SIM to talk about how the telecom industry is dealing with disruptions due to semiconductor shortage. We also discuss the real impact of SIM shortage and the development of eSIM to mitigate some of these issues.

The podcast discussion is based on a recent joint white paper that Counterpoint Research wrote together with Oasis Smart SIM. You can download it from here.

Hit the Play Button to Listen to the Podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:33 – Olivier on Oasis Smart-SIM’s history and what the company does.

02:33 – William talks about chip shortages and how it has been affecting different sectors and industries.

05:37 – Olivier on how chip shortages continue to impact the telecom provider situation.

08:53 – Olivier talks about how SIM cards being made on mature nodes instead of leading nodes is forcing the SIM industry to re-adjust

11:54 – Olivier further discusses the real impact of SIM shortage on telecom operators.

13:29 – Olivier on whether components shortage is accelerating the move to eSIM?

15:57 – William on how geopolitical tensions have been impacting the chip shortage further.

18:32 – William talks about CapEx investment in legacy nodes vs matured nodes.

21:27 – Olivier on supply of physical SIM and development of eSIM market to mitigate some of the issues.

Also available for listening/download on:


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iPhone 14 Pro, Pro Max Lead US Sales in Latest Apple Launch Day

Apple announced the new iPhone 14 series on September 9, five days before last year’s iPhone 13 announcement. Apple and carrier stores across the country opened their doors at 8 am on September 16 for the official launch of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Here are the seven key takeaways from the launch:

  • Inventory is much improved over last year’s launch which was affected by component shortages
    • At opening, many Apple stores still had plenty of inventory for those looking to purchase iPhones as walk-ins, although the supply is waning now and some Pro Max models are on back order at carriers. This was very different compared to last year where customers often had to have devices shipped to them during the launch period due to shortages.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 Shipment Dates at Launch

Sources:, carrier websites

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro lead early sales
    • Early adopters and upgraders continue to opt for the Pro models instead of the base iPhone 14. This is typical for the early months of a new iPhone launch. Many are upgrading from older devices such as the iPhone X series. Fewer are upgrading from the iPhone 13 Pro series. The new deep purple color is a forerunner for color choice.

  • iPhone 14 – early upgraders are hesitant
    • Apple store and carrier reps will have a hard time convincing iPhone owners to purchase an iPhone 14 as it is almost identical to the $100 cheaper iPhone 13. Some of the improvements are an additional core on the A15 bionic chip, a 1.6% bigger battery, a slightly wider F1.5 aperture 12MP rear camera, along with crash detection and Emergency SOS via satellite (which hasn’t rolled out yet).
    • Savvy customers will know these differences and either hold off or go for the iPhone 13 instead. Reps may also advise iPhone 13 users not to upgrade, especially in cases where devices still need to be paid off or no tangible benefit can be found for an upgrade.
  • Carrier pre-order deals are similar to last year, but Verizon not the forerunner anymore
    • Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have similar pre-order deals compared to last year, offering up to $800 off for the base model and up to $1,000 off for the Pro series devices with trade-ins and unlimited plans. Verizon’s iPhone 14 Pro promotion offers another $200 via e-gift card for switchers. This is worse compared to last year when it offered an extra $500 via Prepaid Mastercard.
  • Apple store trade-in values are less competitive than last year
    • The highest trade-in values for Apple phones this year are $720 for an iPhone 13 Pro Max and $600 for an iPhone 13 Pro. Last year’s offers were better at $790 for an iPhone 12 Pro Max and $640 for an iPhone 12 Pro. Lower trade-in values make Apple’s own promotions weaker year over year.

Apple iPhone Trade-in Value Comparison


  • eSIM woes a mixed bag
    • Having eSIM-only iPhones was a big point of concern for reviewers and media as it makes switching from multiple SIM cards more difficult, especially when travelling in other countries where eSIM isn’t as widespread.
    • People who are looking to purchase a US iPhone and send it to someone abroad are also more hesitant to do so with the iPhone 14.
    • eSIM activations have been going smoothly at carrier store locations, according to reps. However, there are complaints coming from people trying to transfer their eSIMs over themselves, as this is a new and unfamiliar process for many. In addition, iOS 16 introduced a bug that impacted new device activations, which required a firmware update to iOS 16.0.1 to fix the issue.
  • Store traffic is managed by Apple’s appointment system
    • Apple has followed a system for several years now where people need to book an appointment to purchase a device. The long lines we see now are for those looking to grab an appointment spot to purchase a device. The hype of previous iPhone launches is more subdued in today’s environment.


The iPhone 14 series is off to a strong start, especially for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It remains to be seen how the iPhone 14 stacks up compared to the similarly spec’d and more affordable iPhone 13. However, the success of the iPhone will likely continue despite the current state of the economy as Apple products are more shielded from inflationary pressures and consumers continue to see strong promotions to help sell devices.




iPhone Mini: Can it be the new SE?

When Apple launched the iPhone SE first generation in 2016, in the “Let us loop you in” event, Apple executive Greg Joswiak stated “Apple has sold over 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015” explaining that few consumers still prefer compact phones. The design of the first-generation SE was like the iPhone 5S launched in 2013, but with the latest available chipset (A9 – same as in the 6S series launched in 2015) and several spec improvements. Meanwhile, there had been a shift in the form factor for Apple since the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2014, which featured a larger 4.7-inch display.  Hence, Apple was able to use the older form factor, bringing it to a lower price band – US$399, keeping it well differentiated from its more expensive line up. Consumers who wanted to enter the Apple ecosystem at a cheaper price point were happy to make the trade-off with the smaller display.

A similar trend followed in the launch of the iPhone SE 2 in 2020. The SE 2 came with a similar design to the iPhone 8 (launched three years before in 2017). Again, with the iPhone X and XR, there was a change in the design of iPhones, and the iPhone 8 form factor had become “old”. SE 2 also featured the latest available chipset which was A13 Bionic. However, the SE 2 was more than just a smaller iPhone. With Apple focusing on a service-driven business model, the iPhone SE provided an affordable entry point to Apple’s ecosystem and the A13 could provide best-in-class experience for all Apple’s services to its consumers. It helped in bringing new users to the iPhone installed base. It was also favored by many corporate buyers looking for a lower cost and therefore, lower risk platform to run enterprise applications.

SE was again refreshed in 2022 bringing 5G capability to the mid segment in Apple’s portfolio. It also featured the A15 bionic chipset. SE 2022 performed well in some markets like Japan and the US. However, it has not been as successful as SE 2. The form factor of SE 3 now looks dated and needs an upgrade. Over, the last few years, consumers are also preferring smartphones with larger display sizes. Considering the trend, Apple has in fact launched the iPhone 14 Plus with a larger display size.

In 2016, the average screen size of smartphones was 5.1 inches. This is when SE’s first generation was launched with a 4-inch screen. However, the average screen size of smartphones sold in 2020 was 6.2 inches and 2021 was 6.4 inches. While the SE second and third generation featured a 4.7 inch screen. The gap between the average display size and SE’s display size has been widening. Hence a larger display SE is due already. This is where the iPhone mini, with a 5.4-inch display might come in.

Exhibit – Average Display Size of Smartphones 2016 vs 2021

Source: Counterpoint Research Handset Model Sales

Apple launched the “mini” series with iPhone 12 and refreshed it in the iPhone 13 series. However, in terms of sales, its performance was underwhelming. From the launch, until Q2 2022, iPhone 12 mini contributed to less than 10% of 12 series sales, and iPhone 13 mini contributed less than 5% of iPhone 13 series sales. As a result, the mini-series was discontinued with the iPhone 14 launch. Likely, one of the main reasons for this underwhelming performance was the smaller display at a premium price point of US$699.

However, if Apple were to bring the ‘mini’ form factor at a lower price point of around US$429 in a refreshed SE model it would substantially change the value proposition. With the success of older generation SE devices, we have seen consumers are willing to accept some trade-offs of smaller displays in return for the overall Apple experience. Hence, re-spinning mini as a new SE would make a lot of sense. It would also allow Apple to amortize development costs related to the mini form factor such as tooling and other mechanical components.

One of the differentiating features of SE was including the latest available chipset, but in an older form factor. However, with the 14 series, Apple has shifted its strategy with only Pro models getting the latest A16 Bionic chip. While the USD prices have remained the same, there is now a wider gap between the Pro and the non-Pro models in terms of specs. A new SE, which will likely launch in 2024 (assuming the two-year SE refresh cycle), along with a larger display, will likely sport the latest available chip in the “non-Pro” iPhone models.

Note: This information is speculative and not based on any specific evidence or knowledge of Apple’s plans.


Related posts:

iPhone Mini: Can it be the new SE?
Apple iPhone 14 & Watch Series 8 focus on pro features, improved connectivity & safety
eSIM Only iPhone 14 is an Inflection Point for eSIM Adoption – Counterpoint Research
iPhone SE Gets 5G, A15 Bionic; Needs Design Revamp
New iPhone SE 5G to Open Up Mid-End Segments Across Key Regions 

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You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.