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iPhone 12 active user base grew faster than iPhone 11, despite later start

Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max

A new report claims that the iPhone 12 range had more active users in Q1 2021 than the iPhone 11 did at the same point in 2020.

In line with its previous report that the iPhone 12 was the best-selling 5G smartphone in October, Counterpoint Research has now released claims for Q1 2021. While Apple itself has not released any iPhone sales figures since 2018 making it hard to check the assumptions for accuracy, Counterpoint estimates that the overall user base has increased by 2% in the last year.

The difference means that Q1 2020 and Q1 2021 can't be precisely compared, not without further breakdowns, but they do give broad indications. According to Counterpoint, the iPhone 11's total share of active iPhone users was 15% by the first quarter of 2020. The iPhone 12 is on 16%.

"It may be noted here that the iPhone 12 series' release date was one month later than that for the iPhone 11 series," notes Counterpoint Research. "Further, the iPhone 12 series also competes with the low-tier iPhone SE 2020."

Counterpoint doesn't state what the active user base difference is between Q1 2019 and Q1 2020. However, it claims that the iPhone 11's performance was better than that year's iPhone XS series.

"The iPhone 11 series performed well not only in its early days after launch but also maintained the momentum for a considerable period after the iPhone 12 series launch," continues Counterpoint. "The XS series accounted for 21% of the installed base in Q1 2020, but the iPhone 11 series accounted for 25% in Q1 2021, showing a 4% points difference."

The research firm also notes that its data claims a greater proportion of iPhone 12 Pro users are choosing the iPhone 12 Pro Max, compared to the equivalent iPhone 11 Pro models.

"The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max's installed base accounted for 44% in Q1 2020 compared to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max's 54% in Q1 2021," says Counterpoint Research. "Compared to their predecessors, the iPhone 12 series Pro models have more differentiated features, like in the camera."

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