iPhone 12 Initial Sales Outperformed iPhone 11 Despite Delays


Apple no longer reveals exactly how many units of its iPhones have sold each year, rather focusing on the average sales price of each handset, and the overall revenue generated by its iPhone division. But, by all accounts, the iPhone 12 series has been a massive success for the company—and a new report does nothing to contradict that claim.

The report from Counterpoint Research suggests that the iPhone 12 series—including the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max—had more active users in the first quarter of 2021 than the iPhone 11 series did at the same juncture one year earlier.

Unlike shipment or sales figures, the installed base reveals the total number of units of a product that are actually in use.

Making Up for Lost Time

The figures are particularly impressive because the iPhone 12 was delayed in its launch due to the effect of the pandemic on Apple manufacturing.

While the iPhone 11 was available in September 2019, the iPhone 12 series was introduced at the end of October 2020 for the regular iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Meanwhile, fans of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max had to wait until mid-November for their chosen handsets to begin shipping.

This means that, compared to the iPhone 11, Apple had less time to get the iPhone 12 series into customers’ hands by Q1 the following year. Nonetheless, Counterpoint notes that:

Comparing the Q1 2021 iPhone installed base with that in Q1 2020, initial sales of the iPhone 12 series were better than the iPhone 11 series. The iPhone 11 series’ share in the total iPhone installed base was at 15% in Q1 2020 compared to the iPhone 12 series’ 16% in Q1 2021. It may be noted here that the iPhone 12 series’ release date was one month later than that for the iPhone 11 series. Further, the iPhone 12 series also competes with the low-tier iPhone SE 2020.

What Made the iPhone 12 Series Great

The iPhone 12 series featured multiple innovations that made it tantalizing to customers. This included an OLED display on all models (or, as Apple phrases it, a Super Retina XDR display), form factor redesign with flatter sides, improved camera, next-gen A-series processor, and, most importantly for many, 5G connectivity.

While it’s not clear which feature sold users on the iPhone 12 the most, 5G is certainly an eagerly anticipated innovation. It unlocks new faster connectivity, which should continue to transform the mobile landscape in the coming years.

Now Apple just needs to do everything in its power to ensure that this year’s iPhone 13 series keeps the trend of big-selling handsets going.


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