Apple’s iPhones go the way of IBM’s Selectric

“Perhaps the product that most closely approximates the iPhone’s future is the venerable Selectric typewriter, from International Business Machines Corp,” Adam Minter writes for Bloomberg. “When IBM introduced the device in 1961, electric typewriters had already been around for decades. But the Selectric upended the business by enabling faster typing and the changing of fonts, thereby boosting productivity worldwide. The technology also came packaged in a sleek, minimalist case quickly recognized as a landmark in industrial design.”

“In principle, the iPhone is becoming something similar: a tried-and-true model that simply matches customer needs. In Malaysia, where I live, one authorized reseller is promoting the iPhone 6 with a big red sign that promises ‘Amazing Phone, Amazing Price,’ with no reference to the model name or vintage,” Minter writes. “A clerk told me that the phone is selling well, especially to younger customers who can’t afford a newer model but appreciate the iPhone’s reliability compared to most Android phones. Although not flashy, this approach should remain profitable for Apple for some time, and help pay the bills as it transitions to the next big thing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple sold a record 78,290,000 iPhones last quarter. That’s 78,290,000 iPhones in 98 days; 798,878 iPhones per day; 33,287 iPhones per hour; 556 iPhones per minute.

The iPhone SE is a tried-and-true model that matches some customers needs, but there is plenty of room left for innovation in the iPhone. Anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t grasp the full extent of iPhone sales and, to put it bluntly, simply lacks imagination.

The iPhone has many, many years of life in it and, at the top of the line, remains very innovative with extremely high sales and unmatched ASPs.

I think the smartphone is still in the early innings of the game. I think there’s lots more to do.Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 31, 2017

13 Comments

    1. the article is silly click bait, when will wall street analysis (bean counters) stop viewing iphone as a commodity instead of the inherent ubiquitous permanent part of modern culture it is and will far into the future.

      1. Other competitors do view it as a commodity, that’s why iPhones are so sought after.
        Minter is just trying to look smart while generating click bait. He also has a quota to meet.

  1. My wife held off using a larger form iPhone because it was not comfortable in her hands. The SE was the size she needed and that is the one she has now.

    And price was not an issue – comfort was.

  2. Quite amusing. All the FANG stocks are going to leave Apple in the dust in terms of share gains no matter how many iPhones Apple sells next year. The iPhone will be mired in absolute growth as long as Google encourages Android smartphone manufacturers to build disposable $50 to $100 smartphones. The big investors are only interested in companies with total dominance of a business and Apple is barely holding on to a tiny fraction of the smartphone market.

    The FANG stocks are poised for far bigger gains than Apple shareholders can even dream about. 250M iPhones in a year will be impressive in terms of revenue but just not enough to move Apple’s share price more than a tiny bit. As it is, Apple just isn’t attractive enough to big investors. Apple doesn’t have that greed factor working for it. Unfortunately, big investors hate hearing about saving the ecology and Apple keeps bringing that ugly topic up and driving investors to aggressive companies who have no interest in saving the ecology.

    The dominant smartphone players are those who are building the cheapest, most disposable junk on the planet. I call it smartphone instant landfill. Yet, Greenpeace is criticizing Apple for not making iPhones that last a lot longer. Jeez.

    1. you do realize that Apple makes about 90 percent of all profits in worldwide smartphone sales, don’t you.
      Samsung make about 11-13% of all profites in the market.

      Yes the two add up to over 100% because the rest of the market LOSES MONEY – THEY MAKE NO PROFIT!!

      SIMPLE FACT. So get over your impression that Apple is doomed.

  3. “Anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t grasp the full extent of iPhone sales and, to put it bluntly, simply lacks imagination.”

    The iPhone is poorly named. The label “iPhone” looms people’s thinking as to what the device, and its future, trulls is.

    The iPhone is a universal platform that can go on being upgraded (beyond annual incremental improvements) as new jobs are developed for it to do.

    Apple Pay was the first new job given the iPhone platform since its initial launch.

    In 2018 the iPhone platform will be given new jobs requiring AI and AR. These jobs require a great deal more processing power than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Samsung’s Exynos processors can provide, hence Apple’s A-Series efforts . A-Series processors are not less expensive than the Snapdragon or Exynos. They wewren’t developed to save money. They were developed to support the new jobs Apple has in store for the iPhone.

    This is also why Apple is breaking with Imaginations Technologies. Apple wants more performance from the GPUs it uses in the iPhone, to support the video demands these new hobs are going to place on the iPhone platform.

    By the end of FY2019 Apple’s iPhone platform will be 3-5 years ahead of anything coming out of the Android community. That gap will only increase because Google doesn’t have a new job vision for Android, and what vision it does have is being held back by manufacturer fragmentation of the OS and hardware component roadmaps. There is no unified vision between Google, its manufacturing partners and the developers of processors,, screens and GPUs in the Android ecosystem.

    This will become very apparent by the end of FY2019.

    The race among handset manufacturers is not about features, its about new hobs, and iOS is about to deliver a death blow to Android iPhone wannabes.

  4. Magnificentseven48 is the Pied Piper of the visionless Android class

    His vision is not centered on what a handset can dom but the price at which the “good enough” class of subpar handsets can be sold at (the proverbial race to the bottom).

    There excellent historical examples in the automobile and desktop computer industries that conclusively show this race (to the bottom) will be fatal to all but 3, maybe 4, Android manufacturers. This remaining may control 95% of the sub $300 market (that generate near, if not actual, zero profits. While Apple will control 95% of the market segment that IS generating profits.

    I don’t care how small iOSs market share is, as long as it controls/dominates industry profits. Profits are the key to survivability, not market share.

    While Magnificentseven48 writes well, he writings are completely uninformed, bordering on idiocy.

  5. I wonder if the writer ever used a Selectric? It was a great typewriter, set the standard for the industry. It was what professionals used. Typewriters in general were boring and not flashy. IBM kept improving them, and compared to anything else they were a dream. People would pay more for a used one than a competitors new one. The iPhone brought style to smartphones. Does anyone remember how excited everyone got when Blackberry, Palm, or Windows came out with a new phone? No, because they were boring. Most Android phones are boring, cheep, and built like crap. Samsung and LG do some creative phones. The rest copy them, badly. To call the iPhone a Selectric is not an insult. To think IBM just sat around on it’s laurels and never improved it is stupid. Just as stupid to say the iPhone is not exciting. Samsung and LG have one line that is smoothing worth looking at. Google never has on any of there attempts at a phone. MS and BB zzzzzzzz.

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