Analyst: Apple dominating U.S. smartphone market, but international iPhone growth is slowing dramatically

Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s, “Raymond James’s Tavis McCourt today charts what he deems the very strong dominance of Apple‘s (AAPL) iPhone in the U.S., and its slowing presence abroad.”

First, Apple is dominating the U.S. smartphone market, and second, international growth is slowing dramatically… iPhone sales at AT&T and Verizon were up 25% y/y combined to 14.8 million, while all other smartphone sales declined by 2% at these two carriers in 4Q12. From a market share basis, Apple took 74% share of smartphones at these two carriers in 4Q12 vs. 69% a year ago. Assuming modest success at Sprint, we can then back into an iPhone sell through estimate outside the U.S. of 29.2 million, which was up 35% y/y, a deceleration from 3Q.

This would be a strong result except for the fact that the comp was easy internationally for Apple as the iPhone 5 launches occurred far earlier this year in most countries than last year’s 4S launch. March will be a tougher comp internationally, and therefore we expect international sell through growth to slow to 15% y/y… in March and stay at that level (comps get much easier, which is why we don’t have growth declining more) unless new iPhone models are launched earlier this year. – Tavis McCourt, Raymond James

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In other words: Tim’s and Jony’s ‘iPhone plastic’ can’t launch on China Mobile soon enough.


  1. Baloney.

    If AT&T and Verizon were not transparent in their report, these shysters will be proclaiming that Samsung is besting aple in the USA. In Singapore, hk, china aple is dominating. Just because Samsung ate claim they are selling smartphones, these are not smartphones but just super feature phones. The reason for samsung saying that they will have a 2.5 billion hot (probably much more) is because their sales of real smartphones will slow to a crawl. Do you think AT&T and Verizon are going to add to the dustbin at the warehouses?

      1. This “analysis” from the Tavis McCourt guy is dubious, indeed.

        Apple has hard facts in their SEC filing about international growth: 61% of all sales came from abroad — not worse that before.

        More concretely, Apple cites:
        1) Americas: 15% YoY, 47% growth QoQ;
        2) Europe: 11% growth YoY, 55% QoQ;
        3) Greater China: 67% growth YoY, 26 QoQ;
        4) Japan: 25% growth YoY, 88% QoQ;
        5) Rest of Asia Pacific: 10% growth YoY, 89% QoQ;
        6) Retail: 5% growth YoY, 52% QoQ.

        Notice how sales in USA grow at the same speed as average for all regions (I do take into account that “Retail” is mostly USA sales, too) — nothing changed.

        Also notice that Apple still seriously lags in speed of new iPhone “deployment” — it took almost four months for Apple to start sales of iPhone 5 in China. This was partially reason why sequential QoQ growth in China was only 26%, comparing to close to 90% growth in the nearby territories which had iPhone 5 selling three months earlier than China.

        1. Just one counterpoint:

          The current quarter is the big one for gift giving in Asia. Lunar New Year (in February this year) is analogous to Christmas in the West, in terms of gift giving.

          Let’s see what the results from Asia are in 3 monts time.

  2. So Apple’s iPhone sales were up ONLY 35% in the international market, therefor Apple is failing. Wow! Tavis McCourt has been so spectacularly wrong on Apple in the past it’s a wonder he can find employment anywhere. It’s a good thing the corporate shills are hiring. Otherwise he’d be out of work.

    Simple math says that if you sold two phones the first year and four the second that’s a 100% increase. If you then sold six the third year you’d only have a growth rate of 50%. Oh my!!! The sky is falling! No, wait…six is 100% of the number of phones you’ve ever sold! You just doubled your user base! No, wait…our growth is slowing…So…are we going out of business or doubling the size of our business?

    1. Haven’t you heard? The investors and the pundits have joined forces to create the “walks on water” test to assist them in their evaluation of Apple. Unless Apple walks on water each and every quarter, they get a rating of epic fail. I don’t know how or when this total disconnect between market analysis and reason too place, but there is absolutely no doubt that it has happened.

      1. Apple had done nothing but promote its walk on water status. Apple is complicit in its falling stock price. Had Apple been more honest the investor would have been protected. Apple lied, your portfolio died. Sucks to be you.

  3. I congratulate the media on a blitz well done to destroy apple. I have never seen so many negative articles on one company. Too light, too thin, too fast, too expensive, not cool, not yellow, doesnt wash my car. The amazing thing is investors have followed this blitz because now its on a ball rolling south. There is a bottow but is it zero? Moral of story is to follow the media, the market is not an investment tool just an extension of Las Vegas. Total disconnect of company and stock price….

    1. Shit. Couldn’t say it better myself! How much longer before the USA has another revolution … Crooked economics. Blatantly taking away rights. The fast track to socialism. It’s all adding up … Take away the people’s money they’re at your mercy. Take away their guns. They can’t fight back
      2016 the end of an ” error “

      1. We do have socialism. It’s socialism for the rich. And if you believe with any seriousness that the feds are going to “take away your guns”, you need to stop listening to the rabble-rousers. It’s just not going to happen.

  4. apple only sold tons of iphone, ipad in US mostly. it will be continued next few years. international market market share will be dropping. it won’t help apple to boost because people don’t want to buy expensive phone. if apple won’t make cheaper version of iphone, apple will be failed to get bottom down in market seriously. high price strategy won’t work anymore. plus, nobody buys mac excepting in US. today PC has been improved a lot in terms of quality. price is cheaper. I think that game is over. apple will continue to lose.

    1. with 6billion people on the planet apple on needs to win the hearts and mind of a few percent before the demand will be enough. Study after study show apple products clean the floor with the competition in terms of loyalty and user satisfaction. Samsung dosent even make the OS. They will end up as the next Dell as they race to the bottom. Apple makes the best phone, best computer, and best ipad in the world. Not everyone can afford it, But those that can with never stand for rip offs. Sure the other guys have good ideas and features apple could learn from. But ask your self this can sansung or any company make the os and hardware for a Phone, iPad and computer. Only Microsoft has the framework to innovate and design on apples terms. Better or worst Samsung is reliant on Google. Just as Dell was reliant on Windows

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