The iPhone 8 Plus became the first Plus model to out-ship its smaller sibling in a single quarter, but overall, the new 8 line overall failed to outperform last year’s predecessor.
According to Canalys, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus shipped a total of 11.8 million units in Q3, out of Apple’s 46.7 million shipments in total, but fell “well short” of the iPhone 7 line’s performance, which shipped 14 million units in total in the same quarter year prior.
In fact, the iPhone 7 was actually the best shipping smartphone in Q3 2017, with a total of 13 million units shipped, followed up by the iPhone 6s (7.9 million units shipped) in a distant second.
In total, worldwide shipments hit 375.9 million in Q3, up 5.9 per cent year on year, with Samsung’s Galaxy J2 in third spot, shipping 7.8 million units, while Oppo took fourth and fifth place with its A57 and R11 devices respectively.
Making up the total 11.8 million shipments for the 8 line, Apple shipped a total of 5.4 million iPhone 8 units, and 6.3 million units of the larger iPhone 8 Plus.
Ben Stanton, analyst at Canalys, said the iPhone 7 shipped strongly after its price cut in September, while shipments of its older devices also saw an uptick.
“Apple grew in Q3, but it was these older, cheaper models that propped up total iPhone shipments,” he said.
Stanton added that the success of its older devices in Q3 indicated that Apple was making a “portfolio play”, after the iPhone X also launched this month.
“Apple now has five tiers of iPhone and delivers iOS at more bands than ever before,” he said. “This is a new strategy for Apple. It is aggressively defending its market share, but it will not compromise its rigid margin structure to do so.”
Apple grew its total share by 2.6 per cent in the quarter, giving it a 12.4 per cent share in total.
However, the company still lags heavily behind Samsung, which had an 8.2 per cent growth, shipping 82.8 million units overall.
This was mainly down to growth in its J-Series, which did well in India and the Middle East.
The new Note 8 also shipped a solid 4.4 million units, which “dispelled any remaining negative sentiment around the Note series”, added Canalys’ study.
Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi made up the top five smartphone vendors for the quarter.