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iPhone 12 becomes world's best-selling 5G device within two weeks from launch

Shubham Verma     December 21, 2020

Apple's iPhone 12 has emerged as the world's best-selling 5G smartphone for the month of October. The first 5G iPhone series that launched way later than expected, thanks to the pandemic-induced disruptions, has outperformed some of very early 5G smartphones from brands like Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei to take the lion's share in the new Counterpoint Research's monthly Market Pulse Service. At the second spot is the iPhone 12 Pro, making the two iPhone models secure the top two ranks in the chart. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G settled for the third spot.

The launch of iPhone 12 was delayed by a month but despite that, the strong demand ahead of holidays resulted in making Apple the top 5G smartphone vendor. The achievement is remarkable for the iPhone 12 because it was available for sale only for two weeks in October. This is in line with the predictions of renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who last month had said that Apple's iPhone 12 series sales will be better than expected. The biggest reason behind the uptick in sales, Counterpoint says, is the "pent-up demand" for a 5G device in the iOS ecosystem. Apple managed to deliver iPhone units per demand.

In the US, the various carriers are offering the iPhone 12 with multiple trade-in and unlimited plans, luring customers more than expected. Apple launched the specific mmWave version of the iPhone 12 for Verizon customers, offering them higher speeds than the regular sub-6GHz editions that are available in the US and the rest of the world. "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," said Counterpoint Research in the report.

Outside the US, the iPhone 12 performed exceptionally well in markets like Japan and China. In comparison with other 5G devices available in both markets, customers preferred the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro over any other phones. The report cites Apple's local presence as one of the biggest reasons behind the success of the iPhone 12 series phones in over 140 markets, helping the sales to surge dramatically for the month of October.

Samsung and Huawei ended up cornering the third and fourth spot. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is on the third position while the Nova 7 5G is on the fourth. Interestingly, the top ten positions in the market are occupied by smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo. OnePlus and other smartphone brands have failed to make it big in October, according to the survey. Counterpoint Research has pointed out that the iPhone 12 also entered the list of top 10 5G bestsellers during January and October in 2020, securing the seventh position. The firm has not said who cornered the first rank in the list.

The demand for the Apple iPhone 12 is expected to remain strong throughout the fourth quarter of 2020, especially during the holidays in December. The strong iPhone sales will also drive good volumes in the premium smartphone segment, raising the global ASP. For what it is worth, the iPhone 12 and its siblings have popularised 5G in the US like no other device despite being the late entrants to the club. Back in India, there is no 5G right now, making every 5G smartphone pretty much irrelevant right now but Reliance Jio has plans to begin 5G services in the second half of the next year.


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