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CIRP: iPhone 11 dominated US iPhone sales this quarter

Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max were the most popular models sold in the United States in the holiday quarter, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, with research also indicating the 2019 launches sold in higher proportions than the 2018 models in their launch quarter.

For the three months ending December 2019, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max accounted for 69% of U.S. iPhone sales, the report from CIRP claims. On a model-specific basis, the iPhone 11 made up over half of those units, occupying 39% of total iPhone sales, while the Pro and Pro Max each achieved a 15% share.

The high sales are to be expected, as it is typical of launch quarter sales to largely consist of the newest models available. However by comparison to the same period in 2018, the percentage is higher than the proportions for the then-new models, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max at roughly 65% collectively.

Similar to the previous year, the cheapest model of the trio made up the bulk of sales for 2019, though this year it seems the spread between the models is slightly more even.

"The then-new iPhone XS and XS Max had a somewhat smaller combined share compared to the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max in the most recent quarter," said CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz.

The figures should be taken with a bit of skepticism, as the way they were compiled was by survey rather than by sales figures. CIRP based its findings on a survey of "500 US Apple customers that purchased an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, or Apple Watch" in the period. Furthermore, it is unknown what proportion of that small 500-person sample size was used to determine the iPhone-specific results.

CIRP is not the only company suggesting high demand for the iPhone 11, with other research firms raising their price targets on the high sales potential of both the current and 2020 models. High sales estimates have also been proposed for China, with iPhone sales supposedly up 18.7% year-on-year for the quarter.

At the same time as crowning the iPhone 11 as the best-selling device of the holidays, CIRP also estimates the weighted average retail price for iPhones in the United States is at $809, an increase from $783 in the September 2019 quarter, but down from the $839 of the December 2018 quarter.

"The higher prices for iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max certainly help, offset by the lower price of iPhone 11 relative to the comparable iPhone XR last year," writes CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin.

Levin continues with the suggestion the trend for increased storage capacity has slowed, citing two thirds of Pro and Pro Max customers purchased increased storage capacity beyond the base configuration, while overall the figure is less than half. "A year ago, and in previous December quarters, over half of buyers of almost all models purchased increased storage capacity," he said.