Over 85% of new iPhone sales are switchers, mostly from Android

“In an interview, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook… said fewer than 15% of older iPhone owners upgraded to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and that the majority of switchers to iPhone came from smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal. “‘We certainly believe there are legs to it,’ said Mr. Cook of the iPhone sales surge.”

“Timothy Acuri, an analyst with Cowen & Co., said the new iPhones may have a ‘longer tail than prior product cycles’ because they can continue to grab market share from rivals,” Wakabayashi reports. “It would be unprecedented for a company of Apple’s size—already the world’s most valuable company with annual revenue of $183 billion—to sustain the growth it achieved last quarter.”

MacDailyNews Take: This one goes to eleven.Ooooooh, the law of large numbers!

Oh, what’s that, iCal?

At some point, what’s known as the law of large numbers is going to kick in (it always does). That’s why I couldn’t pull the trigger on Apple as my Stocks 2006 recommendation.Alyce Lomax, The Motley Fool, January 26, 2006

On January 26, 2006, Apple closed at $9.79 (split adjusted). Nine dollars and seventy-nine cents.

Moral of the story: Don’t listen to unimaginative fools. This one goes to eleven.

“Apple said it expects revenue in the current quarter to grow between 14% and 20% compared with the same quarter last year, but it noted that its forecast is dampened by the strength of the U.S. dollar,” Wakabayashi reports. “Longer term, analysts appear uncertain about whether Apple’s growth is sustainable.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Analysts appear uncertain?” Ya don’t say?


  1. This is misleading. I don’t understand what the headline is trying to say. It makes it look as though 70 million of those phone sales last quarter are from other platforms, when that’s just not true. The percentage of new iPhone sales can mean people who never bought an iPhone before, or just people who are buying a new iPhone.

    At any rate, 30% of iPhone buyers were people upgrading from an old iPhone. About 19% in the USA are from other platforms, almost all from Android, and the other 10% is from people who never owned a smartphone. These are the numbers
    Cook has used as well.

    1. MDN creates their own headline. Here’s WSJ’s,
      Can Apple Keep Up Its Growth Spurt?
      Record Quarter May Result From Demand for Big Phones”
      But Wakabayashi has trouble with both fact and fiction.

    1. The “Law of Large Numbers” is an concept developed by folks who believe this is some higher, unseen reality to financial markets. Apple is evidence that they should change their thinking.

      Perhaps “Theory of Large Numbers” would be a better name for this concept.

      1. It is being used in the wrong context. The law of large numbers states that a process, if continued indefinitely, will approach it’s theoretical probability. There is no theoretical probability for a company’s financial performance…

        1. This is false, the theoretical sustained growth of any company is 3%, the growth of inflation. This is due to the fact that there are a finite number of people on the planet, and any growth above the speed at which people are born is eventually going to reach the point at which it cannot grow any faster.

  2. Melgross is right about the headline

    The story says that 15% of OLDER IPHONE OWNERS HAVE UPGRADED to iphone 6. ie 15% of the installed base bought an ip6

    The headline interprets that statement as though it were saying only 15% of IPHONE 6 BUYERS were previous iPhone owners

    Two very different meanings. It would have been nice if it were true

  3. I’ve been following Apple from an investment point of view for over a decade now. And there was a time when the near-sighted negative sentiment made me bonkers. You know, it turns out that these analysts (you can throw in IDC et al in here as well) are doing us all a big favor. They keep focusing us and Apple’s would be competitors on all of the wrong things. They talk about law of large numbers and market share. Samsung and their brothers in arms eat this stuff up and buy into the hype. Weak investors panic and sell out of their positions. Everyone is focused on the wrong things which leaves clear-headed entities (Apple and some investors) with opportunities that would not have otherwise existed if not for these intellectually challenged voices of reason. Samsung goes for market-share and Apple goes for profitability. And the clear-headed among us can see how this makes a difference. Red-hearings can be quite tasty so good luck and thanks for all the fish 😉

    1. Careful of all those little bones in those red herrings though! And they have no nutritional value…
      Financial Times today published an article on Apple results which relies almost entirely on quotes from Strategy Analytics, who don’t even try to hide the fact they are a Sam-sunk paid shill. I guess that even FT doesn’t fact check any more because they already know that what they are publishing is pure BS.

  4. Analysts are like some movie directors. “They’ll know it when they see it.” Until then – clueless. These guys get paid “money for nothing.”

    Skeptics until proven otherwise is hardly a brave stance or useful information. Anyone can do that.

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