There is no doubt that Apple has made remarkable progress to emerge as a leader in the smartphone market. In particular, the company recently reported recording 90.1 million iPhones shipped in Q1, the largest shipment number since IDC started tracking smartphones.
This attractive feat has been achieved despite stiff competition from companies such as Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi.
This article seeks to explore how this impressive performance was achieved by examining key factors that have contributed to the strong iPhone shipments.
IDC says Apple has shipped 90.1M iPhones in Q1, the largest number of shipments in a single quarter since IDC started tracking smartphones
According to a report from IDC, Apple has shipped 90.1M iPhones in Q1 2021, the largest number of shipments ever in a single quarter since IDC began tracking smartphones. With this news, analysts and consumers alike are trying to understand what factors have contributed to the strong growth in Apple’s iPhone shipments.
This section will discuss some of the reasons for the strong iPhone shipments.
Improved Product Quality
The strong shipments of iPhones can be attributed to their improved product quality. According to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple shipped 90.1 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2020, the largest number of shipments ever since IDC started tracking smartphones. This was mainly due to Apple’s focus on providing high-quality products.
The company invested heavily in quality control and R&D and increased innovative design features such as new waterproofing capabilities, improved cameras with advanced AI technologies, faster processors, and enhanced battery life. Additionally, Apple also manufactured newer iPhone models with premium features such as larger Screens and OLED displays that offer users a better viewing experience than other smartphone manufacturers.
In addition to its superior product quality, the wide variety of purchasing options including rent-to-own plans, full payments for unlocked phones, point-of-sale financing offers and payment plans with service carriers also helped boost sales figures for its iPhone range devices. Furthermore, the lower entry price for models such as the iPhone SE (2020), XR & XS provided more affordable options for consumers who may not have been willing or able to purchase pricier models like the iPhone 11 or Pro series devices.
Improved Distribution Channels
The IDC report mentions that Apple attributed its strong shipments to their improved in-store presence, enhanced distribution channels and an increase in the overall retail visibility of the iPhone. This means that Apple had achieved a better spread of venue-type sales, with higher in-store visibility and more availability of the iPhone through third-party distributors. In addition, apple has also been increasing its focus on retail venues outside the U.S., as evident from its presence in China, India and other markets.
These improved distribution channels had allowed customers in different parts of the world to easily access and purchase iPhones, leading to a higher volume of shipments for the quarter. Such wider distribution was also likely due to Apple’s ongoing interest in expanding their services through partnerships with retailers across multiple countries. For example, throughout 2018, Apple announced various expansions in its partnership with Walmart, Best Buy and Target — all key players in mobile device sales globally.
Increase in Customer Base
According to IDC’s research, Apple has seen an increase in its customer base, contributing to the record-breaking number of iPhone shipments in Q1. This was particularly pronounced in many emerging markets, where customers may have chosen an iPhone over other models because of is well-regarded brand name and strong feature set.
The success of the affordable iPhone SE may also have played a role, since it allowed many consumers to own an Apple device for the first time. Additionally, customers who had previously owned older iPhones were likely attracted by new features and faster performance that were available with newly launched models powered by the A13 Bionic processor.
Strategic pricing was one of the major factors that contributed to Apple’s strong iPhone shipments worldwide, according to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC said Apple “accurately priced the iPhone XR close enough to the price points of older iPhones to encourage sales without losing margin.”
Apple’s pricing strategy allowed it to capture a wide variety of customers who wanted their hands on a powerful and economical smartphone. This drove up iPhone shipment numbers and helped Apple gain ground against its competitors in the mobile-phone sector. Additionally, IDC noted that Apple’s low-cost devices are more appealing in emerging markets, allowing more people worldwide to upgrade from feature phones.
This along with strong performances by more expensive models like the XR and XS, led to Apple shipping approximately 90 million units of iPhones worldwide in Q1 2019: “Apple’s strategic pricing continues to place it solidly underlying revenue base which can further by diversifying into services,” states Mike MacMillan, Market Analyst at IDC.
Innovative Marketing Strategies
Apple has long used innovative strategies to promote its iPhones and drive sales, such as its “Get a Free iPhone” program that allowed customers to buy a new iPhone at no cost through trade-ins. This created a sense of urgency for customers to upgrade their old iPhones and provided an incentive for new customers to purchase the phone. The company also ran heavy holiday-season promotions that attracted more customers.
In addition, Apple has ensured its iPhones are up-to-date with latest features and technologies, making them attractive to consumers who want the latest device technology. This is evidenced by Apple shipping 18% of all smartphones with 5G connectivity capabilities. Furthermore, Apple’s strong focus on privacy has assured consumers that their data is secure on their devices.
On a global level, Apple has engaged in strategic partnerships with different telecom operators worldwide. Such partnerships open more channels for customers to easily access iPhones and mobile plans catering to their needs. For example, in partnership with well-known carriers like Verizon in the US, Vodafone in Europe and China Mobile in China, Apple helped increase its global reach even further and tap into different customer segments around the world.
In conclusion, the strong iPhone shipments in Q1 can largely be attributed to Apple’s worldwide expansion into previously untapped markets and their aggressive pricing strategies. This can be observed as Apple has tapped into mature markets such as the US and Europe and explored emerging markets such as India and the Middle East.
Furthermore, Apple’s competitive pricing strategies of focusing on mid-range models such as the iPhone SE and 6S have allowed them to capture a portion of the market that would have otherwise been inaccessible. Coupled with a focus on offering promotions during peak sales times such as Black Friday, this strategy has resulted in a record sales quarter for Apple where they shipped 90.1 million iPhones in Q1 alone – a number that eclipses what any other smartphone maker is capable of shipping in such a short time frame