The iPhone 8 is failing to live up to sales of its predecessor

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

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The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
source
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • In the first quarter it was available, the iPhone 8 sold significantly less devices than its predecessor the iPhone 7 did when it launched.
  • In Q3 2017, the iPhone 7 was still the most popular smartphone in the world, Canalys estimates.

We’ve got one of our first indications of iPhone 8 sales – and they’re not spectacular.

The new Apple smartphone has failed to beat the launch its predecessor, the iPhone 7, in its opening quarter, according to a new report from research firm Canalys.

Apple shipped 11.8 million iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’s in Q3 of 2017, Canalys estimates – versus 14 million iPhone 7’s back in Q3 2016.

But there’s one big qualifier in all of this: The iPhone X. This year, for the first time, Apple has also brought out an ultra-high-end third handset, which only went on sale in November, in the fourth quarter of the year.

This will inevitably prompt a proportion of would-be iPhone buyers to hold off from picking up an 8, instead waiting for the X. It causes a shot term dip in Apple’s sales figures – though the company will be calculating that sales of the new device will more than make up for it in the long run.

The iPhone X.

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The iPhone X.
source
Hollis Johnson

But it also places additional pressure on the iPhone X to perform well – and highlights why the current delays of the device must be so frustrating for Apple. It sold out within minutes of becoming available to pre-order in late October, with some customers waiting weeks for their handset to arrive.

Overall, in the Q3 period (July, August, and September), Canalys estimates that Apple sold 46.7 million smartphones – with the iPhone 7 being the most popular device.

It was the world’s most popular phone for the quarter, with Apple shipping 13 million handsets. In second place was Apple’s iPhone 6s (7.9 million), followed by the Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime (7.8 million), the Oppo A57 (7.8 million), and the Oppo R11 (7.2 million).

“Shipments of older devices, such as the iPhone 6s and SE, saw an uptick in Q3,” Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said in a statement. “The iPhone 7 also shipped strongly after its price cut in September. Apple grew in Q3, but it was these older, cheaper models that propped up total iPhone shipments. Apple is clearly making a portfolio play here. With the launch of the iPhone X, it now has five tiers of iPhone and delivers iOS at more price bands than ever before. 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.”