It turns out that the iPhone SE is selling briskly in the U.S. and Europe

You wouldn’t necessarily have been able to foresee it from Apple’s disappointing earnings report last month, but certain models of the iPhone, it turns out, have been flying off the shelves in North America and Europe. According to a new report from market analysts at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the Cupertino company’s share of the midrange smartphone market got a bump from better-than-expected sales of the iPhone SE from the period between April and June.

The SE performed exceptionally well in the U.K. Kantar estimates that it was the country’s “top selling smartphone” with a 9.2-percent market share, a sell-through rate brisk enough to land the diminutive handset slightly ahead of the Apple’s pricier iPhone 6s, which also had a 9.2-percent share. Furthermore, it contributed to the growth in Apple’s U.K. device sales to 37.2 percent — up 3.1 percent from the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Elsewhere in Europe, Apple’s gains were decidedly more modest. In France, its share of the handset market grew 21 percent, and in Germany, iOS devices constituted 14.2 percent of the country’s phone sales over the period. Overall, iOS device market share reached 18.2 percent in the region — an increase of 0.7 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

A hop and skip over the pond in the U.S., the iPhone SE did just fine, too. According to Kantar, the handset accounted for 5.1 percent of all smartphone sales in the U.S. — an amount that saw Apple’s year-on-year market share climb 1.3 percent to 31.8 percent. But the SE remained firmly behind Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s, which ended June with a 15.1 percent share, and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, which commanded a 14.1 percent share.

The SE’s traction — as much as 23 percent of total iPhone sales, market research firm RBC Capital Markets estimated — may seem like cause to celebrate. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri implied as much in an interview with Bloomberg in June. “Customer demand for our products was significantly stronger than we had anticipated at the beginning of the quarter,” he said. “We were not able to fulfill iPhone SE demand throughout the quarter.”

But TechCrunch concluded that the results were a mixed bag: the SE’s comparatively low price point drove Apple’s gross margins, or the difference between the company’s revenue and production costs, down significantly this past fiscal quarter, below 38 percent. That’s down from the second quarter of 2015, when it stood at 40.8 percent.

Worse, the device wasn’t a sales success everywhere. The SE visibly struggled in China, where Kantar reports it made up a mere 2.5 percent of phone sales. Two factors were to blame, apparently: “supply constraints” and “fierce competition.” The latter continues to dog Apple — local firms like Xiaomi and Huawei have proven formidable competitors in the budget handset space. All told, Apple’s market share in the country came in at around 17.9 percent by the end of last quarter, down from 19.7 percent year over year.

The decline is in line with a broader slowdown in the smartphone market. According to analysts at IDC, phone shipments are expected to grow just 3.1 percent in 2016 — a meteoric decrease from 2015’s 10.5-percent growth and 2014’s 27.8-percent growth. China, in particular, will suffer from the symptoms of saturation: IDC estimates the country will see “low single digit growth rates” this year.

But despite the doom and gloom, Apple’s future looks bright. IDC believes that low-cost devices like the SE and efforts like trade-in programs will “bring the iPhone back to growth.” And according to Kantar, plenty of folks in the past few months chose to hold off on upgrading from an older iPhone. “Anticipation for the newest iPhone, usually released in late September every year, typically means a weaker summer period for iOS,” said Kantar. “This represents a large opportunity to upgrade these consumers to the latest four-inch iPhone.”

That will be welcome news to investors, no doubt. In its earnings report ending June 2016, Apple reported lower sales of iPhones, iPads, and Macs not only compared to the previous quarter, but the same quarter a year ago. And in China, it saw a 33-percent decline in revenue. But the company’s services division picked up some of the slack — sales of Apple Music subscriptions, apps in the App Store, and iCloud storage plans jumped a collective 19 percent.

Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Trash

How to save yourself money by buying a refurbished iPhone

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a new iPhone, and it can be very expensive. Save yourself some heartache and some money with our guide on how to buy a refurbished iPhone.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for April 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for April 2019.
Mobile

BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in May, be replaced by enterprise version

BlackBerry Messenger for consumers will shut down at the end of May, nearly six years after it was launched. The app is going back to its roots, in a way, as it is being replaced by the much simpler BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Deals

Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 smartwatches get big price cuts

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 are at some of the lowest prices we've seen since so far this year. With discounts from Amazon and Walmart, now is a great time to find spring savings on wearables.
Mobile

These are the key settings to change on the LG G8 ThinQ smartphone

The LG G8 ThinQ is finally available. There are a lot of settings turned off by default that may be useful in improving the experience of using the phone. We've rounded up 11 key settings for you to change on the G8.
Mobile

LG reportedly files patent for triple selfie camera on smartphone

LG has reportedly filed a patent for a smartphone with three front-facing cameras. However, if the patent turns out to be true, it may come down as just another gimmick for the struggling mobile phone manufacturer.
Mobile

Samsung says the Galaxy Fold needs more improvements before it's released

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Add style and functionality with the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases

No tablet should be without protection, especially an expensive one. Check out our picks for the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases, so you can add some protection, functionality, and style to your new device.
Mobile

Amazon cuts prices on Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 3 smartwatches

In the market for a new smartwatch? The Apple Watch is the best one, and right now it's a little more affordable than it usually is. The Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 3 are both available at discounted prices straight from…
Home Theater

Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones get a $93 price cut

Good head-fi is expensive, but a premium set of headphones is worth it. If you're in for a pair, then you're in luck: The excellent Bose Quietcomfort 35 Series II is on sale right now from Rakuten with a two-day coupon code that can save…