Apple on Tuesday released its financial report for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, revealing record sales number for the iPhone. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were huge hits during the Christmas quarter, Apple said during the earnings call, revealing that it saw record iPhone 7 sales to upgraders but also to Android switchers during the period.
Apple sold 3.5 more million iPhones in the holiday quarter, setting a new record for the company.
“We did have an exceptional quarter with iPhone, and that was with the backdrop of not predicting the demand very well, and the iPhone 7 Plus, and therefore being in constraint on it through the quarter,” Tim Cook said during Apple’s Q&A session with analysts. “If you look at the absolute number of upgraders, it was the highest that we’ve seen in any quarter, and if you look at the switcher number, it’s the highest that we’ve seen in any quarter.”
Cook did not reveal the actual number of upgraders or switchers. “If you look at the upgrade rate, it’s similar to last year, however, I think the big asterisk — and I share all of this with you for transparency’s sake — but I would tell you that the way we look at this is, in a quarter where you have a supply constraint, it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from it,” he said.
Apple CFO Luca Maestri also said that the upgrade rate, “he percentage of people who have upgraded to the new phone has been very similar to what we’ve seen last year,” without divulging any numbers.
The iPhone 7 Plus was the most popular handset of the two iPhone 7, just as analysts predicted. “If you look at 7 Plus, it was the most popular Plus model that we’ve ever had; it set a unit record so that I can share,” Cook said.
The CEO highlighted strong iPhone 7 sales for China during the period, saying that 50% of iPhone sales were to switchers and first-time buyers.
Apple never says how many users leave the platform for Android. But during the call, it emphasized that its user base is growing rather than shrinking. The iPhone install base “is growing strong double digits,” Maestri said.
The conclusion seems to be that Apple isn’t done stealing Android users given that iPhone sales increased significantly compared to last years, and upgraders — while a quarterly record — stayed in line with last year.
Verto Analytics, a company that measures consumer device and app usage in the US, told BGR that almost 610,000 mobile device owners used the Move to iOS app in December.“Our data identified that over 600,000 users used the ‘Move to iOS’ app to switch to new iOS devices in December alone suggesting a surge in new iOS users over the holiday period, Verto Analytics CEO Hannu Verkasalo said.
Samsung also helped Apple report record iPhone sales, Bloomberg says, as the Galaxy Note 7 recall drove buyers to the iPhone. The site speculates that the iPhone 8 will drive up the number of upgrades this year, as Apple may be preparing a new supercycle on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.
The full transcript of Apple’s Q1 2017 earnings call is available over at iMore.