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Apple Surprise: iPhone SE Selling Better Than Expected

The iPhone SE is making quite an impact on the smartphone market despite initial skepticism.  

According to research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the 4-inch iPhone SE accounted for 16 percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the fiscal first quarter (ended June 25), the first full quarter the phone has been available.

The iPhone 6s, meanwhile, accounted for 39 percent of sales, while the 6s Plus took 26 percent. This 65 percent combined share is down from the 82 percent share the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus predecessor models held in the prior-year period.

Noted Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder: “A year ago, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus grew their share of total iPhone sales relative to the previous quarter, up from 78 percent in the March 2015 quarter. In this quarter, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus saw their share shrink relative to the March 2016 quarter, from 71 percent to 65 percent. It appears the iPhone SE is a viable iPhone entry in the U.S. market.”

The smaller phone is likely appealing to consumers who own much older iPhones, said Mike Levin, CIRP partner and co-founder. “On the one hand, the SE may have persuaded these owners of older iPhones to upgrade to a new phone, and possibly remain with the Apple iOS. On the other hand, with its much lower retail price, iPhone SE also may have diverted these customers from purchasing a more expensive iPhone 6/6s-series phone, which will likely lead to a lower ASP in the quarter.”

According to CIRP, 33 percent of iPhone SE buyers upgraded from an older iPhone. The firm based its findings CIRP bases its findings on a survey of 500 U.S. Apple customers from June 27 through July 13 who had purchased an iPhone, iPad or Mac in April through June.