At PLUS QA, we’ve always got devices on the brain, but especially so as we head into the new year. We’ve been tracking user adoption rates for various iOS devices to help our clients determine the best iOS devices to test on in 2019.

iPhone Sales Up 29 Percent in 2018

Bar graph of global Apple iPhone sales from Q3 2007 to Q4 2018 in million unitsSince its initial release in 2007, Apple has released 12 generations of its prominent smartphone product. iPhone sales have risen steadily over the years, with more than one billion iPhones sold worldwide by the end of 2017. Early last year, iPhone sales accounted for about 70 percent of Apple’s total revenue, and their share of the smartphone market reached 15%, making the company the second-largest smartphone vendor in the world.

Of course, Apple upped the ante in late 2018 by launching three new models: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. In the last quarter of the year, money made from the sale of iPhones was up by 29 percent.

Top iOS Devices for Testing

There’s no denying the consistent popularity of the iPhone, which is why we track iOS adoption rates every month — Apple revealed that iOS 12 was now in use on 78 percent of devices just this week — and why we track iPhone model adoption rates every year. This helps us identify the best device models for our clients to test their iOS apps.

Apple is likely to release at least one new iPhone model in the fall (recent leaks have already revealed a few purported features of the iPhone XI), as is their custom. Until then, we recommend focusing your 2019 iOS testing efforts on the following devices:

Mixpanel Chart of iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max Adoption

1. iPhone 7
According to reports from analytics company, Mixpanel, the iPhone 7 held 17.34% of the Apple smartphone market share at the end of Q3 2018.

2. iPhone 6S
Those same reports noted that the iPhone 6s was the second most popular model at 13.01 percent.

3. iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 Plus came in third during the third quarter of 2018 with 12.06 percent of Apple’s market.

4. iPhone XR
The iPhone XR wasn’t released until October 26, 2018, but Apple’s VP of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, said it was Apple’s top-selling iPhone every day since.

5. iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
This upgraded version of 2017’s iPhone XS was also released late in 2018, and isn’t far behind the iPhone XR in terms of sales: According to Mixpanel, there are individual days where these models outsell the iPhone XR.

6. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
According to consumer behavior insights company, Kantar Worldpanel, the iPhone 8 was still a top-selling model in late 2018, with 9.4 percent share of the handset market.

Optimal User Experience for iOS Apps

iPhone on white desk backgroundThough Apple has been plagued by news of slower sales in recent months and disappointing quarterly earnings related to the iPhone as recently as yesterday — perhaps one reason why they’ll no longer be disclosing sales numbers on quarterly calls — the popularity of their devices remains evident.

With or without sales numbers, we know that — much like in years past — Apple is in the unique position of garnering exceptional interest in each new version of their devices, while still maintaining a dedicated base of users of older models.

There are 14 supported iPhone devices currently on the market, and while the devices listed above are currently among the most popular — no surprise, since they’re also the devices that are still in production — there’s also value in testing your iOS app across the gamut of available devices.

At PLUS QA, we test on every iPhone and iPad model and across various iOS versions to ensure an optimal experience for every user of your iOS app. Connect with us to learn more about every Apple model in our Device Lab, and how we can help you test your app on the right devices for your users!

Data visualizations via Statista and Mixpanel
Row of iOS devices in PLUS QA's device labAn iPhone 11 laying face up on a desk, next to a MacBook and an iPad