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Apple's iPhone X outsold iPhone 8 series 2-to-1 in US during record-breaking Q4, report says

Bucking — seemingly spurious — claims that Apple is cutting iPhone X production due to weak demand, a report from Counterpoint on Wednesday found the flagship iPhone outsold its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus siblings by a 2-to-1 ratio. And it wasn't because iPhone sales flagged.




According to statistics gathered by the research firm's Market Pulse program, Apple sold a record 22.4 million iPhones in the U.S. over the fourth calendar quarter of 2017. The performance garnered Apple its highest ever marketshare, up to 44 percent from a previous high of 37 percent.

Notably, Counterpoint's data casts doubt on an ongoing narrative claiming iPhone X sales have been less than optimal. Research Director Neil Shah said worldwide iPhone X sell through has been "softer than expected" due to its high price tag, but the handset it performing well in the U.S. where consumers are willing to pay for the Apple ecosystem.

"During Q4 2017, all the three new iPhones were strong sellers — the three were the top three selling phones in the U.S. market," Shah said. "However, since its launch on Nov. 3, the iPhone X outsold the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus by a 2:1 margin. What this means is the super-premium segment (above $800) has grown from almost 0 percent in previous years to 25 percent share of the total smartphones sold in USA during Q4 2017, which speaks volumes for the potential of USA market and the U.S. consumers' buying power."

Adding color to the hard data, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack noted Apple grew its sell through by 20 percent in a U.S. market that grew only 2 percent over the same period.

"This means Apple has been successful to take share away from Samsung in the premium," he said.

Fieldhack said the success of iPhone X, as well as iPhone 8 Plus, will help boost ASPs for the quarter. Of the 22.4 million iPhones sold, more than 10.5 million were priced above $850, meaning Apple generated nearly $9 billion from premium handset sales in the U.S.

Earlier this week, Nikkei issued a report claiming Apple slashed iPhone X production orders in half due to "slower than expected holiday sales" the U.S., China and Europe. A separate report from The Wall Street Journal echoed the narrative, but as AppleInsider pointed out, the numbers don't add up.

In any case, industry watchers will likely receive clues as to iPhone X's performance when Apple reveals earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2018 tomorrow. The company does not normally break down sales by model, but overall iPhone sales metrics should provide ample fodder for analyst estimates.

AppleInsider will be covering Apple's ensuing earnings conference call live from 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern.