Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 will be last smartphone hurrah as market nears peak

“The great smartphone boom is about to end. That’s according to one savvy tech prognosticator, Bill Whyman, head of the investment research firm International Strategy & Investment‘s tech strategy research team, who tends to look more than a couple quarters ahead,” Robert Hof reports for Forbes.

“Whyman contends that as smartphone penetration reaches 50% sometime next year, the market will start to slow for the first time,” Hof reports. “That will put pressure on all the players, from struggling RIM to to Google‘s newly acquired Motorola and even to so-not-struggling Apple.”

Assuming Whyman’s right, here’s what he thinks happens next:
• Growth slows
• Competition intensifies
• Content and services will be where growth and market value happens
• Wireless carriers try to capture more mobile revenues
• Open systems will start to win because:
  1) Consumers become more willing to manage complexity/want choice
  2) performance advantage from end-to-end vendor narrows
  3) scale and standards of open ecosystem drive lower cost

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just like it happened in the Portable Media Player (iPod) market, right Billy?


For his fifth bullet point, Whyman has been iCal’ed for future use.


    1. Well, The last quarter’s numbers haven’t come through yet, so…

      Perhaps he is predicting (most likely correctly) that Romney will win in November which can only lead to one thing… The smartphone market will promptly shrink to a couple thousand of the wealthiest people and everyone else will be too fucking broke to afford even cans and strings, let alone mobile phone service without data.

      1. don’t worry when mitt gets rid of all those pesky little brown illegals you will have lots of opportunity to pay your student loan off gardening on mitt’s estates

    1. EXACTLY. The future is for the innovators, IOW Apple. The iPhone keeps getting better. Old iPhones keep being replaced with new iPhones. Every other company is either bumbling or crumbling. So what in that scenario = a market peak?

      Nothing. 😯

    1. I have purchased every iPhone new. I will purchase an iPhone 5 on day 1 and then pass on my old iPhone 4S to my wife and so on and so on throughout the family.

        1. In my house it’s my youngest daughter. Although the phone is not connected to any cellular network (she’s too young). My eldest has my iPhone 3Gs and my wife has her own 3GS. When the “5 comes, she’ll get one of those and her 3GS goes to my boy. I’ve got a 4S.

          See? Some people actually do pass their phones down, and they all still work just fine, thanks.

  1. Here is a complete idiot who has not even noticed the fragmentation of the “open” systems, the vastly increased developement and maintenance costs they incur, and many other factors which can readily be seen by even casual observers. iCal this one for future well deserved ridicule. If we were truly near the peak as he believes the success for open systems would not be the receding apparition that it is.

    1. Fruit loops over there.

      Look it’s simple. Android is a rip off copy of the iPhone (and before the iPhone it was ripped off RIM BB).

      1 its clunkier
      2 less integrated an elegant
      3 worse build quality and cheaper plastic construction for same end cost
      4 larger screens that are lower res and ugly.
      5 made by overseas companies
      6 not upgradable
      7 mostly not even running the current android OS at release
      8 high marketshare low use
      9 riddled with pirated software and viruses
      10 has a few extra poorly designed and implemented features that do not work well

      I could go on. Android has not allowed a single new phone manufacturer to enter the market, it has only allowed phone assemblers to compete with Apple, but only Samsung is having any success and only because they manufacture nearly every component internally and they rip off Apple designs.

      Android is full of IP theft that is still going through the process of litigation. It might not even exist as a platform in a few years, and what’s there now is a patchwork of poorly designed incompatable sub platforms that mostly used as glorified feature phones with GPS and more room to text.

      The iPhone will continue to grow for years and in mature markets, Android will see a precipitous drop off a cliff.

  2. Nice title, article totally wrong though. I believe we may be nearing a transformation point for the iPhone, just like the iPod transformed into the iPhone. I think the iPhone will eventually become something much more than what it is today, perhaps it will be called an IPad Nano. Once market penetration is complete, it is probably inevitable that Apple will head to higher, more premium ground for a new breakthrough product, while still developing the other product lines. So yeah this will happen, but Apple is probably already getting ready for this.

  3. That’s right, after the 5th Ford Model there was no need to innovate cars because they were as fast and as sleek as they needed to be and everyone who was going to have one had one already. Glad we stopped there. Waste of time this innovation thing. Now put those wagons in a circle and let’s
    Chow down!!!

  4. “Open systems will start to win because:
    1) Consumers become more willing to manage complexity/want choice”

    Yehhh! Absolutely! Like they have SO enormously demonstrated on the desktop with their overwhelming preference for Linux.

    Well, I won’t be looking to Whyman’s firm for my investment advice.

  5. Bill Whyman… just shut the F*** up… You are just like the rest of the analysts…
    The boom is about to end… so what… we are not here to support the mobile boom.

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