Believe It or Not, iPhone XR Is Dominating North American Smartphone Sales

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The iPhone XR completely dominated smartphone sales in North America throughout the first three months of 2019, according to a new report.

Apple reportedly shipped more than 4.5 million iPhone XR models during the first quarter of the year, a new smartphone shipment data report by Canalys showed. All in all, the iPhone XR accounted for 13 percent of all smartphone shipments in North America.

In second and third place were Samsung’s Galaxy S10+ and Samsung S10e, with both devices taking 6 percent of the market share each.

The news may come as a shock to those who have been following Apple’s iPhone sales performance. Smartphone sales overall are slumping, and the iPhone lineup itself has also taken a blow.

In fact, the Canalys report indicates that iPhone shipments fell 19 percent year-over-year. Despite that, Apple still maintained a 40 percent share of the North American smartphone market — one of the regions in which it usually sees the strongest performance. (Samsung, the runner-up, took 29.3 percent in the same quarter.)

The company shipped 14.6 million iPhones throughout Q1 2019, compared to 17.9 million iPhones the year before.

But while Apple’s iPhone growth in North America declined, that’s still largely in-line with the overall leveling-off of sales across the entire global smartphone market. In North America, smartphone sales as a whole dropped by about 18 percent over the last year.

Apple’s success in North America is likely due to the fact that the premium smartphone segment is actually growing, thanks in no small part to the company itself. On the other hand, Apple’s lackluster performance in critical regions like China and India are much more detrimental to its bottom line.

The strong sales performance of Apple’s mid-range device, along with the fact that price cuts in China helped recover Apple’s declining sales in that region, just goes to show what an entry-level or cheaper iPhone could do for the company in those regions.

As far as what Apple could do to boost sales performance in 2020, Canalys analysts say the key challenge is that Apple’s iPhones are just “not different enough.” The analysis firm suggests that the Cupertino tech giant needs devices with “radical new features” to impress customers enough to upgrade.

While the 2019 iPhones are largely expected to be fairly similar to its predecessor lineup in 2018, the devices could feature significantly upgraded camera technology by way of a triple-lens setup. That could help the iPhone maintain dominance and stave off camera-focused contenders like the Google Pixel 3.

Other rumored additions to the 2019 iPhones also include two-way Qi wireless charging and specialized indoor navigation features. This year’s successor to the iPhone XR could also be upgraded to a dual-lens camera setup akin to the iPhone X.

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