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Apple iPhone surges 16 percent in US in spite of market's overall decline

Apple's U.S. iPhone sales were up 16 percent year-over-year during the March quarter to 16 million, even as the domestic smartphone market as a whole dropped 11 percent from 43.7 million units to 38.7 million, according to research published on Tuesday.

Six out of the 10 most popular smartphone models were sold by Apple, the 64-gigabyte iPhone 8 being the most popular, said Counterpoint Research. The 64- and 256-gigabyte versions of the iPhone X ranked second and third — notably, the 256-gigabyte iPhone 8 Plus didn't place in the top 10.

The highest-ranking non-Apple device was the 64-gigabyte Samsung Galaxy S8, which placed sixth. Apple is "showing continued success in taking share away from Samsung in the premium market space," Counterpoint analyst Maurice Klaehne commented, noting that it controls 80 percent of the $800-plus "super-premium" market while Samsung sales were down 4 percent.

Image Credit: Counterpoint Research

Apple CEO Tim Cook has claimed that the $999-plus iPhone X has been the most popular iPhone model worldwide every week since its November launch.

Counterpoint indicated that Apple's growth percentages during launch quarters have been declining, but that it has nevertheless expanded U.S. marketshare to 42 percent, thanks to a rising install base, "prepaid channel improvements," and business-to-business sales.

iPhone US marketshare

Prior to Apple announcing its March quarter results, some analysts had conjectured that sales of the iPhone X and/or iPhone 8 were soft, the former because of its price and the latter because of a modest evolution versus the iPhone 7. In fact the 32-gigabyte iPhone 7 ranked seventh in the U.S. last quarter, signalling continued relevance for some buyers.