Consumer Intelligence Research Partners says its data suggests that around 20% of US iPhone buyers in Q3 opted to buy one of the three iPhone 11 models despite availability being limited to the final week in the quarter.

The market intelligence firm says more budget-conscious consumers had two different approaches to balancing features against price…

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First, and most obviously, to buy the base-model iPhone 11 rather than one of the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. Its data suggests that sales of the latest models were split approximately:

  • iPhone 11: 9%
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 6%
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 4%

Second, buying last year’s flagships. Its data indicates that combined sales of the iPhone XS and XS Max – which can no longer be bought directly from Apple – almost matched those of this year’s Pro models.

But the best-selling model of all in Q3 was, it says, the iPhone XR.

CIRP finds that the new iPhone 11 and 11 Pro/Pro Max models accounted for 20% of US iPhone sales with two weeks of availability at the end of Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter. iPhone XR accounted for 36% of US iPhone sales during the quarter.

“iPhone 11 represented half of the sales of the three newly launched iPhone models,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder. “Combined with iPhone XR, which was similarly positioned in the line-up and shares many of the same features, these two models account for almost half of US iPhone sales in the quarter. The premium priced iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max models together represent 10% of sales, and 21% when combined with similarly positioned and recently discontinued iPhone XS and XS Max. It seems that iPhone customers consumers have a greater appetite for the historic flagship priced phone, with fewer paying up for the new top-of-the-line models.”

Direct comparisons with last year are tricky due to the delayed availability of the iPhone XR.

Of course, things may change this quarter – the first full quarter of iPhone 11 sales – but as things stand, the average selling price of iPhones is falling as consumers decline to buy the most expensive models.

Apple no longer discloses the average selling price (ASP) of its iPhones, but CIRP surveys prices paid by US iPhone buyers to come up with WARP numbers: weighted average retail price.

CIRP estimates the weighted average retail price for iPhones in the US (US-WARP) at $783, down from $808 in the June 2019 quarter and off its peak of $839 in the December 2018 quarter.

iPhone XR and 11 have dominated sales, at the expense of the more costly XS and XS Max, and 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models. And, iPhone 11 is priced $50 below the similarly positioned iPhone XR at launch last year. This represents a change for Apple, which usually increases prices on new phones relative to older ones.

While that may be true, Tim Cook is unlikely to be crying himself to sleep at night. There have been multiple reports of Apple boosting production in order to meet the strong demand for the new models across much of the world.

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