Christmas Just Came Early for Apple


It appears Apple didn't have to wait until December 25 to see what it got for Christmas this year. Data from Canaccord Genuity and Counterpoint show that the iPhone 5s and 5c are dominating sales in the U.S. and China, two of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.

iPhone 5c. Source: Apple.

The iPhone effect
In November, the iPhone 5s was the best-selling smartphone at all four of the top U.S. wireless carriers, the third month in a row it's claimed that spot. Not only is that good news but the 5c took either the second or third spot at each carrier for the third month in a row as well. Any previous concerns about Apple not being able to sell the cheaper iPhone 5c units in the U.S. seems to be a moot point now.

According to AppleInsider, before the dual iPhones launched, other device makers like HTC, Sony, Nokia, and Motorola all had phones in at least one of the top three slots at the major carriers. But Apple's two-pronged iPhone approach has effectively removed the competition from the top for the time being.

iPhone love spreads to China and beyond
Taking the majority of U.S. smartphone sales over the last three months is one thing, but Counterpoint research shows that the 5s was the best-selling iPhone in China and the rest of the world in October.

In China, Apple's share of the market spiked from just 3% in September up to 12% in October. This pushed Apple up from having the sixth-largest smartphone market share in China to the third largest, and it's possible Apple could take the No. 1 spot by this month or next.

Source: Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Foolish final thoughts
All of this data is clearly good news for Apple investors, though it's obviously not the first time the iPhone has outpaced other devices. There are two key takeaways from the recent data: The first is that Apple has successfully entered a cheaper smartphone segment in the U.S. There was some debate when the 5c launched as to whether Apple had priced the phone correctly. But judging by how the phone is doing on all four major U.S. carriers, it's clear the company made the right choice. What will be interesting to see is if Apple can maintain two of the top three spots when Samsung's next flagship device comes along.

The second thing to note is that the iPhone 5s is doing exceptionally well in China, even before a China Mobilelaunch. It's well-known that Apple is a popular brand in China, but the Counterpoint data is even more proof that the eventual China Mobile deal will push Apple even higher in the country. With the official launch of the iPhone on China Mobile expected to come on Dec. 18, Apple investors may get one more piece of good news before Christmas.

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Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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