Analyst firm Counterpoint Research said the delayed release of the iPhone 12 last year actually played into Apple’s hands.
Counterpoint calculated that smartphone sales in Europe in 2020 fell 14% from the previous year, while iPhone sales were down 4%. Users began to save money, while many were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices.
April was the worst month of the year, with sales dropping nearly 50% from 2019. In September, the coronavirus situation escalated, leading to new store closings across Europe. Thus, at the end of the year, the market fell again, despite Apple’s best efforts.
However, Apple was still doing better than the market as a whole. The decision to delay the release of the iPhone 12 paid off for two reasons. First, it enabled the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE to demonstrate amazing durability and consistently sell well in many markets throughout the year. Secondly, it has increased the demand for new iPhone smartphones that are selling well. In fact, the iPhone 12 had the most successful launch of any Apple device. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple hit a record 30% share.