From the lacklustre launch day lines to reports of production cuts, we know that sales of the iPhone 8 have been disappointing. According to estimates by market research firms Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) and Localytics, the devices have had the weakest sales figures of any new Apple handset in recent years.
In the US—Apple’s largest market—both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus accounted for just 16 percent of all iPhone sales, according to CIRP. Compared to the same period last year, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus made up 43 percent of sales. And in 2015, the iPhone 6s and 6s plus accounted for 24 percent, which, despite being a typically low numbers often associated with ‘S’ model sales, is still more than the iPhone 8s have managed.
"In terms of consumer demand and reception, the 8 and 8 Plus have a share of total sales that makes them look much more like an 'S' model, while the 7 and 7 Plus was close to the very well-received 6 and 6 Plus," said CIRP analyst Josh Lowitz. "This is not surprising, as the form factor remained the same, and the improvements in features were incremental and internal."
CIRP’s data is based on a survey of 500 U.S. Apple customers who purchased a product during the quarter. While that’s quite a small sample size, Localytics' report, which analyzed data from more than 70 million Apple devices, paints a similar picture. It said iPhone 8 adoption is showing "significant decline," and accounted for 2.4 percent of all iPhone use worldwide, less than half the share boasted by the iPhone 7 models one month after they shipped.
Why is the iPhone 8 selling in such small numbers? Probably because a lot of people are happy buying an iPhone 7, which, now that Apple has dropped the price, is a very compelling option, and as Steve Wozniak notes, isn’t hugely different from its successor. As for other Apple fans looking to purchase a new handset, it seems most prefer to wait for the iPhone X.