Remember when the iPhone 8 was released last year? The tech press was universally unimpressed, and most of them predicted mediocre to poor sales. To be honest, I didn’t find it particularly compelling, either. No one can deny that the 8 and 8 Plus’ almost four year old design is dated, at best. A glass back, new gold color, and wireless charging didn’t change that.
This perception was just exacerbated by the fact that the iPhone X is so much more visually appealing than the 8 and 8 Plus, with its glass curves and bezel-less design. How in the world would this older looking phone with a new price tag compete with the the X on one side, and the less expensive, but very similar looking iPhone 7 on the other? This doesn’t even factor in the constantly improving Android flagship phones from Samsung, LG, and Google, themselves. I can’t say I thought the iPhone 8 was destined for great sales numbers.
Not to worry, though. It seems that the iPhone 8 is the plain little Apple engine that could. According to Counterpoint Research, the iPhone 8 regained the top spot in sales worldwide in May, just edging out the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, and tying it for the top spot in market share at 2.4%. The iPhone X was just off the market share pace at 2.3%, and the iPhone 8 Plus tied for fourth place at 2.1%.
Photo Source: Counterpoint
The interesting news here is that the iPhone 8 returned to the lead in sales only one month after the new Galaxy S9 briefly took the lead in April. What’s notable about this is that the S9 was in its second full month of release in May, while the iPhone 8 was over seven moths old. In the past, it was common for a new Galaxy S to top Apple’s previous year’s iPhone in sales until the new one was released. This year doesn’t seem to be going according to formulae. There have been reports that sales of S9 have been below Samsung’s expectations, and these numbers from Counterpoint seem to lend them credibility.
Do you remember when every analyst on the planet was downgrading Apple’s stock price and growth outlook, predicting brutal iPhone sales numbers, and actively driving the company’s stock price down in the process? They were wrong then, and it appears that they continue to be wrong. Maybe they can all go spend their energy needlessly wringing their hands over Samsung’s current slump, rather than continuing to look for chinks in Apple’s armor.