According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse, the iPhone XR was the top-selling model globally in Q3 2019, capturing 3% market share. In fact, except for the launch quarter in September 2018, iPhone XR has been the top-selling model globally in every quarter since Q4 2018. The XR alone contributed to over one-quarter of the total Apple sales during the quarter, making it the bestselling model for Apple across all regions. Apple also adjusted the price of the iPhone XR in China and several other markets, which helped keep demand strong during the quarter. The iPhone 11 also made its debut in the top 10 within the launch quarter.
Exhibit: 2019Q3 Global Smartphone Top 10 Model Sales Market Share
Samsung had 3 models in the top 10, all from the A series. Samsung discontinued its J series and brought the A series to lower price tiers. A series had a more premium perception than the J series. The new devices came with competing specs and design features, affordable price and Samsung’s strong brand perception (especially in the mid-segment) which provided an excellent value proposition to consumers. This was also strategically aligned with global trade-up trend. The A-series also gained some share from HONOR. However, there were no flagships from Samsung in the top 10 list.
OPPO also had 3 devices as the A series continued to do well in China and other regions. A9, A5s, and A5 became the hero models in the slim portfolio of OPPO. Huawei P30 featured in the top 10. The device also comes with Google Mobile Services, which makes it relevant for users outside China as well. However, going forward, in the absence of GMS, Huawei devices might slip out of the top 10 models. Xiaomi had Redmi 7A in the top 10. This was driven by India, which contributed to over half of the total sales of the model during the quarter.
The volume contribution in total sell-through for the top 10 models combined, increased by 9% YoY to capture 17% of the total sales compared to 15% in Q3 2018. However, the combined wholesale revenue of the top 10 models declined 30% YoY. This is because the mix of mid-tier devices in the top models is increasing. There were five flagship devices in the top 10 in Q3 2018 but only three this year. And part of the reason for this is the improving capabilities of devices in the mid-tier over the last year. Premium segment features are trickling down to the mid-segment at a faster rate. In fact, in some cases, smartphones in the mid-tier segment are now equipped with features that were absent in some premium segment products as recently as a year ago. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy A50 features a triple camera (25MP – 8MP – 5MP), 25MP front camera, 6.4 inch display and an in-display fingerprint sensor, while the Samsung Galaxy S9, the flagship from a year ago had a single 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a 5.8 inch screen. Mid-tier devices therefore often offer an excellent value proposition compared to older flagship models.
However, the increased mix of mid-tier products has also led to the fall in revenues for key smartphone OEMs during the quarter. The overall global handset profits declined 11% YoY during Q3 2019. Going forward, as 5G deployment gains further momentum, we will likely see 5G variants of devices in the top 10 models. However, the mid-tier models will likely continue to gain momentum.
The detailed analysis for top selling models by Revenue can be found here