iPhone 12 Series Sales Cross 100 Million Mark Within 7 Months of Launch

Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires, London, New Delhi, Seoul – June 30, 2021

Exactly 14 years ago, Apple disrupted the smartphone market as the first iPhone went on sale. There has been no looking back for Apple since then. It has emerged into a powerful ecosystem of over a billion users. It is not only the largest smartphone OEM by revenue but has also set up numerous benchmarks in the smartphone industry. The latest iPhone 12 series carries forward this legacy.

The iPhone 12 series’ cumulative global sales crossed the 100 million units mark in April 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s mobile handset Market Pulse Service. The series was able to achieve this feat in the seventh month after its launch, which is two months earlier than the iPhone 11 series and almost the same as the iPhone 6 series that helped Apple achieve its first volume super-cycle at the cusp of 4G transition. With the iPhone 12 series, Apple has achieved another volume super-cycle after six generations of iPhones and at the cusp of 5G transition.

In the case of the iPhone 6 series, the strong pent-up demand for larger-screen iPhones drove the sales, while for the iPhone 12 series, the addition of 5G capability and a full OLED screen attracted customers. With the ASP for Apple phones being at an all-time high, the iPhone 12 series’ volume super-cycle will also lead to a revenue super-cycle breaking its own record every year.

Exhibit 1 – iPhone 6, iPhone 11 & iPhone 12 Series Cumulative Sales Comparison by Months from Launch

iPhone 12 Series Sales Cross 100 Million Mark Within 7 Months of Launch
Source: Counterpoint Research Monthly Market Pulse, April 2021

There has also been a shift in model preferences between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 series. Consumers preferred the highest version of the iPhone 12 series during the first seven months after the series’ launch. The share of the Pro Max version in the iPhone 12 series sales was 29%, compared to the 25% for the same model of the iPhone 11 series. This is also one of the reasons for the iPhone 12 series grossing 22% more revenue than the iPhone 11 series in the first seven months of its launch.

The launch price of the base variants of the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro Max was the same at $1,099. The notable upgrades in the 12 Pro Max were 5G capability, a higher RAM/memory, and the A14 Bionic chip. There was also a trade-off as the charger and headphones were missing from the box. However, this did not seem to be a deal-breaker for consumers, especially in the US, which contributed to 40% of the global iPhone 12 Pro Max sales till April. The upgrades, which came at the same price as that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, supported by aggressive operator promotions, helped the 12 Pro Max sales soar to make it the highest-selling device in the US consistently since December 2020. Moreover, the iPhone 12 series was also comparatively less affected by the pandemic than the iPhone 11 series. Also, consumers who held on to their devices last year due to the pandemic, upgraded to the 12 series.

Supported by the stellar performance of the iPhone 12 series, Apple achieved a record-high market share for April. It has also consistently achieved a record-high market share in the US since October 2020 and the trend is likely to continue in May 2021.


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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T-Mobile Ends 2020 Like It Started – Leading The Net Add Race

T-Mobile pre-announced a spectacular Q4 and 2020 despite the headwinds of COVID-19. T-Mobile saw 1.7 million net additions in Q4, which we expect will easily lead the industry. 1.6 million high-ARPU postpaid subscribers were added and an additional 824,000 prepaid customers were added.

Another highlight of the quarter and year is T-Mobile continues to lead US 5G rollouts. It now covers 280 million people with its low-band 600MHz spectrum (marketed as ‘extended range 5G’). It also covers 106 million people with its mid-band 2.5Ghz spectrum (marketed as ‘ultra capacity 5G’). T-Mobile also has C-band and mmWave licenses it can incorporate into its network coverage.

Customer churn was only 1.03% in Q4 despite absorbing Sprint. Sprint had churn two times higher than Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in 4Q19 and 1Q2020–the two quarters before the merger with T-Mobile. T-Mobile has done an admirable job reducing churn of the roughly 25 million subscriber phone base of Sprint.

Similar to how T-Mobile quickly and efficiently absorbed prepaid channel MetroPCS, it is quickly and efficiently moving Sprint subscribers onto the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile is accelerating its rollout of Sprint’s 5G 2.5GHz network holdings. Since October, updating cell sites has increased from 1,000 sites per month to 1,000 sites per week.

Key highlights during Q4 and 2020:

  • Usually in the US market, there is a shift to prepaid from postpaid when unemployment and economic uncertainty is elevated. This is not the case even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within T-Mobile, there has been migration from prepaid to postpaid. This is positive for service revenues and ARPU.
  • T-Mobile added 1.6 million postpaid customers in Q4 and 5.5 million during 2020.
  • 824,000 postpaid phone customers were added in Q4 and 2.2 million were added during 2020.
  • 84,000 prepaid phone customers were added in Q4 and 145,000 during 2020.
  • 794,000 ‘other’ net customers were adding during the quarter. This is mainly comprised of hotspots, wearables, and tablets. 3.3 million were added during 2020.
  • Churn was 1.03%. Promos were aggressive but not as aggressive as AT&T. Netflix bundle and other ‘un-carrier’ moves have kept phone churn near record low levels.
  • 5G rollouts continue. Over 180 million consumers are covered by 5G. 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum rollouts are accelerating at about 1,000 sites a week. This spectrum is seeing speeds approaching 300 megabits per second, which will improve in 2021 as more spectrum.
  • Counterpoint Research estimates T-Mobile sold about 6.4 million postpaid smartphones and 2.1 million prepaid smartphones. Bring-your-own-devices was down slightly during the quarter.
  • T-Mobile now has a smartphone base of over 66 million. Despite being considerably smaller by smartphone subscribers –Verizon has a smartphone base of over 91 millions – we expect T-Mobile sold about the same number of smartphones as Verizon during the quarter. For complete US channel sales, see North America Online-Offline Monthly Channel Tracker-November 2020.
  • Top sellers during the quarter include Apple iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, LG Stylo 6, and Samsung Galaxy A11.
  • Similar to how quickly T-Mobile integrated MetroPCS, T-Mobile has absorbed Sprint into one master brand ‘T-Mobile’ brand and the prepaid channel of ‘Metro by T-Mobile’. T-Mobile has done good work converting Sprint customers over to T-Mobile service plans. Sprint’s handset leasing plans are being phased out as the mathematics are not working.
  • Other opportunities include fixed wireless opportunities. As Verizon and AT&T are focusing on mmWave within metros, there may be an opportunity for T-Mobile to offer low or mid-band 5G fixed wireless in smaller metro and even rural areas. TVision LIVE television package for $40 per month is now selling. This will be difficult to break through, but will be interesting to watch in 2021.

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iPhone 12 Becomes World’s #1 5G Model Within Two Weeks of Launch

The iPhone 12 became the world’s best-selling 5G smartphone model in October despite a delayed launch, which resulted in only two weeks of sales during the month. The iPhone 12 Pro, which was also launched alongside the iPhone 12, was the second best-selling 5G model for the month, according to Counterpoint Research’s monthly Market Pulse Service. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro together captured close to one-fourth of the total 5G smartphone sales in October.

Global Top 10 5G Models' Sales Market Share October 2020

The iPhone 12 also entered the top 10 bestseller list of 5G devices for January-October 2020, attaining the seventh position. This is a big achievement, considering the new iPhone series was available for only two weeks in October. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, which was the best-selling 5G device in September, slipped to the third position.

Several factors drove this huge initial uptick for the iPhone 12 series.

There is a large pent-up demand for 5G upgrade, especially within the iOS base, which is now getting converted into sales. This was complemented by strong carrier promos, especially in the US, which accounted for over one-third of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro sales for the month. All carriers were offering the iPhone 12 for $0 through a mix of the trade-in and unlimited plans.

China and Japan also saw strong initial demand for the iPhone 12 series. Compared to most of the other 5G models, which have a regional presence, the iPhone 12 has a wider market coverage – it is available in over 140 countries, thus helping sales.

The iPhone 12 series has also given a push to mmWave. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro for the US are capable of mmWave support. As a result, the penetration of mmWave capable smartphones increased to 12% in October compared to 5% in September. The popularity of the iPhone 12 also means that there will be a large installed base of mmWave capable devices in the US. This is important because it gives operators an incentive to deploy mmWave infrastructure rapidly. The high throughput and low latency provided by mmWave will help unlock the true potential of 5G. With the mmWave network and devices in place, it would lay a solid foundation for Apple to leverage the power of mmWave in segments like AR/VR.

Going forward, the demand for the iPhone 12 series is likely to remain strong through Q4 2020, especially during the festive season in December. Strong sales for Apple will also drive the volumes in the premium segment, raising the global ASP. Due to the late launch, some of the sales will be pushed to subsequent months, thus maintaining the momentum of the iPhone 12 series in early 2021 as well. Through the iPhone 12 series, Apple has also given a much-needed push to the 5G smartphone market, which cornered its highest ever share of 24% in the global smartphone sales in October.

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