Global iPhone sales might be down, but US installed base is up to 189 million units

Global iPhone sales might be down, but US installed base is up to 189 million units
Apple’s struggles in crucial global smartphone markets like China and India are no longer a big secret, but at the same time, the company is certainly doing a decent job maintaining and even boosting its iPhone user base in the similarly essential US market.

According to the latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which is largely based on official financial results released by Apple for the October - December 2018 quarter, there are at least 189 million iPhones currently in use in the US.

That’s a significant improvement from the 166 million iPhone US installed base estimated for the end of 2017, as well as slightly larger than the 185 million unit count from 2018’s third calendar quarter.

While actual sales have started to decline, this number has been steadily growing over the past couple of years, mainly thanks to first-time iPhone buyers rather than folks switching from the Android side.

That said, the installed base progress appears to be slowing down as well, from 19 percent between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 to 14 percent now compared to a year earlier. 2018’s holiday season raised the tally by a measly 2 percentage points versus the September quarter, while Q4 2017 figures rose a cool 5 percent from the year’s third quarter.

Bottom line, although Apple doesn’t exactly have a problem in the US just yet, this market isn’t thriving as it used to either. Overall, CIRP analysts believe only around 62 million iPhone units were sold globally between October and December 2018, compared to the International Data Corporation’s 68 million estimate and Counterpoint’s 66 million figure.

Whichever of the three might be closer to reality, it represents a massive drop from Q4 2017, when Apple itself confirmed worldwide iPhone shipments of 77.3 million units.

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