iPhone 12 became the world's best-selling '5G' phone within two weeks of launch. (Photo credit: Reuters)
iPhone 12, one of four new iPhone models that Apple launched in October 2020, is apparently off to a blazing start. According to data released by research firm Counterpoint, the iPhone 12 became the world’s best-selling ‘5G’ phone within two weeks of launch. That’s good news for Apple on many levels, because even though Cupertino has technically been late to onboard the 5G bandwagon, it managed to usurp Samsung, an early adopter of the next-gen connectivity standard, not by a slim margin, but rather convincingly.
Top that with the iPhone 12 Pro securing a close second position, and it seems, a late start–and delayed launch–did little to offset Apple’s first stint with 5G. Together, the iPhone 12 (with 16% market share) and iPhone 12 Pro (with 8% market share) captured “close to one-fourth of the total 5G smartphone sales in October.” Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G–which was top-selling 5G phone in September–slipped to the third position with 4% market share in October.
Moreover, the iPhone 12 series saw ‘strong’ initial demand in China, possibly helping Apple ward off some investor concern following a staggering 25% fall in revenue there during the fiscal fourth quarter. “Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone line-up, has been tremendously positive,” CEO Tim Cook had said during the last earnings call.
The iPhone 12’s popularity is also good news for 5G. This is something that the Counterpoint data also highlights. The iPhone 12 series can tap into the Millimetre wave–mmWave–spectrum, which is to say that these phones have the potential to unlock the ‘true potential of 5G.’ The only bottleneck is, mmWave infrastructure is scarce meaning there are very few areas where one can access it. The iPhone 12 is not the only mmWave-ready phone in the market, but already it has spurred the need for operators to buckle up and start deploying necessary machinery–figuratively speaking.
Counterpoint data further suggests that 24% of all the phones sold globally in October were 5G phones and the penetration of mmWave capable smartphones was up by 7% on the back of positive response for the iPhone 12 series. Hopefully this gives the industry the desired shot in the arm to make 5G go more mainstream. Counterpoint expects demand for the iPhone 12 series to remain strong through Q4 2020.