It seems Apple was right about the demand for a smaller, cheaper iPhone. But in addition to helping the company compete with lower-priced Android options, the iPhone SE may also be cannibalizing sales of Apple’s more expensive smartphones.
According to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), sales of the new iPhone SE accounted for 16 percent of U.S. iPhone sales in the fiscal quarter ended June 25, 2015, while sales of the pricier iPhone 6S and 6S Plus stood at 39 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
At 65 percent of total sales, the combined sales share for the iPhone 6s and 6S Plus was markedly lower than that of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus a year ago. The latter devices pulled in 82 percent of total sales in 2015, the report said.
The 65 percent figure also represents a sequential decrease in sales share for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus from 71 percent in the March quarter – which is opposite of the trend exhibited by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz said. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, by contrast, rose from 78 percent of sales in the March quarter to 82 percent in the June quarter, Lowitz said.
CIRP found that the iPhone SE appealed strongly to users of older, 4-inch iPhones, with 33 percent of users upgrading from an iPhone 4s or older and around another third upgrading from either the iPhone 5, 5S or 5C. By comparison, only 17 percent of iPhone 6S and 6S Plus buyers upgraded from an iPhone 4s or older.
“iPhone SE appears to have appealed to owners of much older iPhone, and less to switchers from Android and other operating systems,” CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin said. “On the one hand, the SE may have persuaded these owners of older iPhones to upgrade to a new phone, and possibly remain with Apple iOS. On the other hand, with its much lower retail price, iPhone SE also may have diverted these customers from purchasing a more-expensive iPhone 6/6S series phone, which will likely lead to a lower ASP in the quarter.”