“The more I have reflected on what is happening right now in the consumer technology industry, in particular Apple’s position, the more a key observation hits me. Apple is in uncharted territory,” Ben Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. ” I don’t mean because sales of iPhones are slowing or because their stock has a more skeptical sentiment around it than in years past. What I mean is Apple has never had a product like the iPhone that has reached such enormous scale, thus increasing their customer base to levels few thought Apple would ever reach.”
“Apple certainly had a mass market hit before the iPhone in the iPod. However, the iPod’s best year of sales was 2008 with 54.83 million units sold. The iPod helped Apple’s core customer base reach somewhere between 125-175 million users,” Bajarin writes. “The iPhone has taken the company to an entirely different level. Last year, Apple sold 231 million iPhones. The iPhone is the greatest hit Apple has ever had and their customer base grew from under 200 million users to now over 600 million. Apple has never had this many customers before. More importantly, they have never had this diverse a customer set.”
“During their main growth period, Apple had been operating under a cycle of rather consistent upgrade patterns for iPhones. Depending on the specific country, the upgrade rate varied between 19 and 24 months. However, as Apple began to attract new customers, particularly those on the later end of the technology adoption spectrum, something interesting happened,” Bajarin writes. “There are significant portions of Apple’s installed base who do not behave like most other iPhone owners and this could prove quite challenging. Particularly as Apple looks to drive replacement rates within their installed base.”
Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Ben is right, as usual, that with Apple and the iPhone+iOS ecosystem, “tech history is being made, not repeated.”
Eventually, most Apple “analysts” will come to realize that unit sales aren’t the be-all and end-all.
Apple now makes more money from services than by selling Macs – May 2, 2016
Apple services now reach 124 million U.S. adults as user base expands – April 21, 2016
Apple’s services business saw massive 60% profit margins in 2015, more growth expected – April 20, 2016
75 percent of teens say their next phone will be an iPhone – April 13, 2016
Credit Suisse: Apple’s underappreciated services business could be growth engine – April 4, 2016
Apple highlights services in search of Wall Street’s love – January 26, 2016
Apple reaps $18.4 billion quarterly profit, the largest ever recorded by a single public corporation – January 26, 2016
Apple beats on earnings; sets all-time records for revenue, net income, and EPS – January 26, 2016