iPhone 15 Pro is unexpectedly the sales champion of spring 2024

Posted:
in iPhone

Historically, the "Pro" iPhone models get passed by the lower-end model in the spring -- but so far 2024 is very different.

A close-up of an iPhone 15 Pro Max with a triple-camera setup on a textured surface.
iPhone 15 loses market share despite series' overall success



The second full quarter since the release of Apple's iPhone 15 series reveals a significant shift in consumer buying habits, particularly affecting the base iPhone 15 model. The shift in consumer preferences is a key factor in the declining popularity of the base model.

While the current iPhone lineup continues to dominate sales, there's a noticeable decline in the market share held by the base model compared to its predecessors.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) research highlights that the iPhone 15 base model accounts for only 14% of total iPhone sales this quarter. That figure is a significant decrease from the 19% held by the iPhone 14 base model during the same quarter in 2023.

Despite the base model's decline, the iPhone 15 series continues to be a success, accounting for a significant 68% of total iPhone sales. The higher-end Pro and Pro Max models, in particular, have shown a stable performance, maintaining a steady share of 22% to 23% of total sales.

Bar chart showing the market share of various smartphone models for two periods, 2023-Q3 and 2022-Q4, with percentages listed on each bar.
iPhone model distribution as of March 2024



Several factors contribute to the base model's declining popularity. The incremental improvements in iPhone technology have become less groundbreaking over the years, making the latest base models less appealing.

Despite new features like the Dynamic Island, a 48MP main camera, and USB-C integration in the iPhone 15 series, these updates -- particularly for the base model -- aren't seen as big leaps forward.

Additionally, the integration of USB-C in the base iPhone 15 model is limited to USB 2.0 speeds, which doesn't enhance data transfer rates compared to older models that used the Lightning connector.

The overall market response indicates that while the iPhone 15 series has helped Apple maintain robust sales, consumers may be opting for either older iPhone models or investing in the higher-spec Pro models.

While the high-end models still attract those seeking the latest and greatest, the base iPhone 15's lagging sales could be a signal for Apple to reevaluate its approach to the entry-level market segment.

"We also suspect some economic pressure to reduce spending, when possible, and a generational trend toward sustainability and away from always wanting the newest thing," CIRP ponders. "Together these factors put pressure on the newest base model and pumped-up demand for the one- and two-year old alternatives."



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,380member
    I’m not that suprised. Apple made a big deal about the improved cameras in the 14 Pro and 15 Pro, and primarily that’s what “phones” are used for anymore (apart from messaging), so folks seem to be paying more to get the best smartphone cameras on either platform.
    ssfe11nubusAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    M68000M68000 Posts: 773member
    And yet you can find articles and youtube videos excited about the iphone 15 base models being the biggest upgrade in years …. Go figure…
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,836member
    chasm said:
    I’m not that suprised. Apple made a big deal about the improved cameras in the 14 Pro and 15 Pro, and primarily that’s what “phones” are used for anymore (apart from messaging), so folks seem to be paying more to get the best smartphone cameras on either platform.
    Makes sense. I have a base iPhone 11 that I want to upgrade. My plan was to go for the base model this fall, but you know that 5x optical zoom would be very nice. So I’m seriously thinking of going from the base model to the Pro Max this year. 
    ssfe11watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    nubusnubus Posts: 457member
    Not unexpected at all. The 15 Pro isn't doing better than 14 Pro (1% worse). But the collapse is in the base 15 and Plus. From 29% to 23%. In total 7% of sales have moved down to previous gen hardware. And 14 base was really just a 13 so those numbers were probably bad as well.

    45% of customers going Pro is nice... but Apple is bleeding customers from the bottom of the stack. The drop in sales is what should worry Apple. If you don't buy an iPhone then AirPods and apps are also not being bought. 
    Alex1Ngatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 8
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 849member
    chasm said:
    I’m not that suprised. Apple made a big deal about the improved cameras in the 14 Pro and 15 Pro, and primarily that’s what “phones” are used for anymore (apart from messaging), so folks seem to be paying more to get the best smartphone cameras on either platform.
    Better camera/lenses >better quality pictures>people taking more pictures>people needing and paying for more storage>good for the bottom line and investors.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    nubus said:
    Not unexpected at all. The 15 Pro isn't doing better than 14 Pro (1% worse). But the collapse is in the base 15 and Plus. From 29% to 23%. In total 7% of sales have moved down to previous gen hardware. And 14 base was really just a 13 so those numbers were probably bad as well.

    45% of customers going Pro is nice... but Apple is bleeding customers from the bottom of the stack. The drop in sales is what should worry Apple. If you don't buy an iPhone then AirPods and apps are also not being bought. 
    Very tiny updates from year to year: Why should most people upgrade their phone? 
    And people cut their spendings amid coming recession and inflation pressures. 

    Wasn't it a naive thinking from the executives that people are stupid to get excited for iPhone 15 with updates which do not generate added values? 

    I hope they get hammered and get "back to the roots". 
    nubus
  • Reply 7 of 8
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,097member
    That is the wrong take and the wrong headline 

    Based on this data, there is a tradedown this year  from the iPhone 15 to the iPhone 14.   Last year, the iPhone 14 did comparatively better vs. the iPhone 13

  • Reply 8 of 8
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,056member
    nubus said:
    Not unexpected at all. The 15 Pro isn't doing better than 14 Pro (1% worse). But the collapse is in the base 15 and Plus. From 29% to 23%. In total 7% of sales have moved down to previous gen hardware. And 14 base was really just a 13 so those numbers were probably bad as well.

    45% of customers going Pro is nice... but Apple is bleeding customers from the bottom of the stack. The drop in sales is what should worry Apple. If you don't buy an iPhone then AirPods and apps are also not being bought. 


    Apple isn't bleeding anything the bottom iPhones are just getting handed down to family members or sold off secondhand at a good price, what is good for Apple is that all those iPad Pros and all the iPhone Pros after the 12 Pro have LiDAR build-in and have the necessary hardware to run some of that over hyped AI software coming up because Apple was always ahead of the game.

    Most buyers are taking home the premium iPhones you know the ones that can all the AI on the edge stuff. 

    edited May 2 Alex1N
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