Apple's latest iPhone models are attracting more Android users to the brand than in previous years, a new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found. Signs have pointed to relatively weak demand overall for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, like lowered guidance by some of Apple's key suppliers and the company's announcement that it will no longer disclose unit sales for the iPhone.
The report found that 16 percent of iPhone buyers upgraded from an Android phone in the 30-day period after the launch of the iPhone XR. After the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were released in September 2017, 12 percent of iPhone buyers upgraded from an Android phone, and when the iPhone X was released in November 2017, that number was 11 percent.
"It appears that iPhone XR did serve to attract current Android users," Mike Levin, CIRP co-founder and partner, said in a statement in a press release. "Of course, Apple doesn't just state plainly its launch strategy. But, based on the pricing and features, we can infer that Apple positioned the iPhone XR to appeal to potential operating systems switchers from Android."
CIRP's report found that nearly a third of iPhone buyers in the U.S. flocked to its cheapest new model, the XR, which starts at $749. In the 30 days after its launch in October 2018, CIRP found that XR sales made up 32 percent of total iPhone sales in the U.S. During the same 30-day period after the XR release, sales for the the iPhone XS and XS Max accounted for 35 percent of U.S. iPhone sales combined.
In an interview with CNET last month, Apple's vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, said the iPhone XR had "been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available."
This share of XR sales tracks with that of previous models in their first month on the market, CIRP said, acknowledging that it can't make an exact comparison since this year Apple launched its more cheaper model second, diverting from previous launch strategies.