iPhone 12 Is a Hit, Analyst Says-news

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(Apple’s iPhone 12 Lineup)

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup is a hit in US carrier stores, according to a survey from Wave7 Research and Counterpoint Research. And although the tech press has been downplaying 5G, 81% of the store reps surveyed say 5G has been a “major factor” in the early sales.

Wave7 does monthly reports taking the temperature at US wireless carrier stores. According to its most recent study, 62% of store reps say that interest in the iPhone 12 models has been stronger than iPhone 11 interest a year ago; 43% say sales are up versus the 2019 launch and only 30% say early sales are down compared to 2019. The study was done at the end of October, so only two iPhone models—the 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro— were on shelves. (The 12 mini and Pro Max launched on Friday.)

The launch led Apple’s market share to jump six percentage points at Verizon, four at T-Mobile, and a whopping 14 at AT&T month over month, as people who’d been holding off for the new releases got their wallets out.

Of the two available models, the more affordable iPhone 12 has been a bigger hit than the iPhone 12 Pro, Wave7 says. At Verizon, for example, 27% of phones reported sold in October were iPhone 12 models, while only 11% were iPhone 12 Pro.

Some of that may be down to availability, as Wave7 Principal Jeff Moore tweeted that it was hard to find iPhone 12 Pro models in stock in October.

After several months of discounts, the iPhone 7 has dropped off prepaid carriers’ rosters, the report says, with the iPhone SE (2020) as the “top iPhone in urban prepaid.”

Verizon, T-Mobile Buyers Want 5G

The most shocking survey result to me is how many iPhone 12 buyers are psyched about 5G.

As we’ve reported frequently, 5G is not going to make a difference to most iPhone buyers. Verizon’s and AT&T’s “nationwide” 5G often turns in results slower than their 4G networks. Verizon’s super-fast ultra-wideband 5G is only available to a few million Americans. T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G does improve connections and it’s growing in coverage, but it still doesn’t cover much of the country.

But that skeptical message clearly isn’t making it down to iPhone buyers. Around 85% of Verizon and T-Mobile reps say the inclusion of 5G has been a major factor in iPhone 12 sales, with reps at AT&T and Apple stores slightly less positive but still enthusiastic, according to Wave7.

I’ll be fascinated to see what these iPhone buyers think of their 5G experience, especially the ones on Verizon’s and AT&T’s “national” networks. Will the placebo effect take hold and iPhone owners think they have better connections on low-band 5G? Or will this lead to a backlash against these slow networks? We’ll keep tabs on how this plays out over the next few months.

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