Survey reveals Apple’s iPhone mix; Pro models, higher storage sell best

CIRP has analyzed Apple’s U.S. iPhone sales by model and storage capacity since 2012 and has now shared that mix data for Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter ending in September 2022. CIRP’s survey reveals that iPhone Pro models, and, regardless of model, higher storage options sell best.

Apple's iPhone 14 series (left to right: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, flagship iPhone 14 Pro Max)
Apple’s iPhone 14 series (left to right: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, flagship iPhone 14 Pro Max)

Michael Levin and Josh Lowitz for CIRP via Substack:

We actually established CIRP in part to answer these model mix questions. After a few years of selling a single iPhone model – and only on the AT&T network in those days – Apple started selling one- and then one- and two-year old models alongside the new flagship each year. That lineup has ballooned to as many as nine simultaneous model offerings. Apple followers in the investment community and related industries wanted to know the iPhone sales mix and Apple has never disclosed that data.

This report is based on a survey fielded in late September and early October, immediately after the end of Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter. It covers consumer purchases in that quarter which included the first three weeks of sales for the new iPhone 14 models, including iPhone 14, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. Along with these new models, Apple also announced the first Plus model in recent years, iPhone 14 Plus, but sales of that model did not commence until early October 2022, one week into the next fiscal period.

The three available iPhone 14 models together accounted for 21% of total US sales (Table 1). This is higher than the 16% of sales for the four iPhone 13 models launched in September 2021, which included iPhone 13 mini. Variations in Apple’s launch calendar challenge these comparisons somewhat, since the iPhone 13 models were only available for two days during the fiscal period ending in September 2021.

Table 1: iPhone Purchase by Model by Quarter

Table 1: iPhone Purchase by Model by Quarter
Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC

Among individual models, the 2021 vintage iPhone 13 Pro Max had the largest share of any single model, at 21%. Of course, it and the iPhone 13 Pro were available for virtually the entire quarter, until the release of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. All four iPhone 13 models together accounted for 56% of sales in the September 2022 quarter, with the iPhone 13 and 13 mini available for the entire quarter. Older models, including iPhone 11, 12, 12 mini, and SE, combined for 21% of sales in the quarter.

Continued disappointing results for the iPhone mini form factor explain its retirement for the iPhone 14 model year. The iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini combined for 5% of iPhone sales, while the aggressively priced iPhone SE, with its aged styling, accounted for 7% of new iPhones sold in the quarter in the US. Of course, model selection is only part of the story. New iPhone buyers also select from a range of storage capacities, which can drive up prices… consumers continued their long-standing tendency to upgrade from base storage. For the new iPhone 14 models and the more expensive iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, a majority of customers paid a premium for larger storage capacity phones.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s no surprise that Pro model iPhones sell better, as Apple continues to improve the differentiation between Pro and “regular” iPhone models.

Apple should have been doing this prior, but it’s good to see some additional differentiation between entry-level and “Pro” iPhone which will, of course, tilt more buyers to iPhone Pro models, increasing Apple’s iPhone ASP. The expected removal of the inelegant kludge (notch) in favor of a more refined pill and hole punch design exclusively in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will also help differentiate the Pro models from the non-Pro iPhones later this year, moving the mix toward higher-end iPhones.MacDailyNews, July 6, 2022

Apple iPhone mix is easily going to be the strongest ever. Do not be surprised with the reports that Apple has “cut iPhone 14 orders,” meaning iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The company will likely be increasing iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max orders to reflect the strong mix which bodes very well, of course for Apple’s iPhone average selling price (ASP).MacDailyNews, September 14, 2022

When you’re considering spending $899 – $1199 for an iPhone Plus, you might as well go Pro.MacDailyNews, October 25, 2022

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1 Comment

  1. Disagree with MDN, I find it surprising the ridiculously overpriced pro models sell better than the more reasonably priced ones, for what….a better camera mostly.
    It very sad the Mini does not do better, IMO it’s the best form factor. I really hope the rumours of the next SE being yet ANOTHER 6.1” phone are nonsense ( because it would be ridiculous). The mini is the PERFECT model to be a SE, price it that way and I expect it would sell much better.

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