iphone sales figures 2009: fastest selling gadget in history? Not quite!

Key Facts

Click here for UK smartphone stats, June 2011

Q3 2010 Smartphone Sales Figures (including the iPhone)

Latest smartphone figures: Apple’s market share drops, but iPhone’s profit outstrips all the others

iphone AND ipodtouch sales 2009 18.5% of Apple turnover (up from 5.7%)
Number of units sold (all versions over 24 months): 52 million
Number of UK units sold to (all versions since release): Estimated at 1.5 million*
Motorola Razr units sold: 110 million
Smartphone market shares (Q3 2009): Nokia 39.7%, RIM/Blackberry 20.6%, Apple 17.8%

*The last published sales figures from O2 were 1 million iphones in Feb 2009

Related Links:

Has the iphone’s sales peaked?
Teenagers want a Blackberry
Click here for more info on the smartphone market
iphone app usage statistics
Developing iphone apps for brands

The latest sales figures released by Apple (reported in ME News) show that the iphone is becoming increasingly important to their bottom line. Apple are currently taking third place in the smartphone market, behind RIM and Nokia.

With an increase from 5.7% to 18.5% of the turnover for the iphone, it has reduced the company’s dependance on ipod and Mac sales, which fell in 2009.
However, the claim in a techcrunch article that the iphone/ipodtouch is the fastest gadget in history doesn’t seem to be entirely acurate. In an article ‘How the iphone is blowing everyone else away‘, it suggests that Apple have created a consumer electronics device that has sold faster than the Nintedo Wii or PSP 2 etc.

These figures just don’t seem to add up to me:

There are actually two devices: the iphone and the ipod touch. One is a phone and the other is a media player, making them two quite distinctive markets. The fact that some people own both is evidence of this.

If we look purely at the iphone itself, then it has a lot of catching up to do before it reaches the sales levels of the Motorola Razr: 50 million units in first 18 months and 110 million units in total. It’s taken Apple more like 24 months to sell 57 million units. And the Razr sales were for a single device, unlike the iphone figures, which include the original version, the 3G and 3Gs versions (and the ipod touch). So many of those are upgrades from existing owners.
If we want to count all of the later Razr models it massively out strips the iphone levels of sales to date.

There is no denying the popularity of the device. For example 60% of mobile internet browsing comes from iphones/ipod touches. A great example of the success of the interface and browsing capabilities.

Yet again, it needs to be seen in context. Prior to the iphone, the options in the US for mobile internet connectivity were limited and slow. Similarly the 3G connection in the US is often faster than the available landline connections, so it is hardly surprising that iphone web browsing has proved so popular.

In short, whilst the iphone is undoubtedly successful, it is important not to read too much into the claims made from the figures.

Related Information: iphone app usage statistics
Developing iphone apps for brands
Why do brands love the iphone?

iblushbabes hidden feature

The thing about the iblushbabes iphone app is that it taps into that ultimate voyeur male fantasy, of seeing up a woman’s skirt. It would now seem that lots these blokes are looking for the iblushbabes hidden feature. I have no idea what it is. Maybe you blow up the skirt and the model hasn’t got any underwear. At the moment the app isn’t available in the appstore, and I wouldn’t download it anyway, so I’ll never find out!!!

Upskirt video app for the iphone

Yes, it really has come to this. The full extent of man’s (and I do mean men) technological advancement has culminated in an iphone app, that allows the user to blow up a model’s skirt. The iBlushBabes app makes full use of the iphone’s many advanced features. So, the more the user blows, the higher the skirt goes and the greater embarrassment for the model.

There’s no doubting the ladsmag appeal of this app. The fact remains, like it or not, that sex (and porn in particular)has driven many technologies: video, the internet, DVD, broadband, and it certainly exists on mobile. So it really comes as no surprise that we now have iBlushBabes. And I’m sure that at 99cents it will sell well.

What I find funny is the press release which claims that: ‘You will soon see offices, bars and clubs full of men blowing their iPhones.’

Will this be another ‘ipint’? Well not if Apple have their way. According to this recent Twitter post, it has been rejected from the app store. I’m not clear on what grounds exactly but given that Apple banned a dictionary which had ‘fuck’ and ‘piss’ in it, I suspect the ban is on moral, rather than technical grounds.

… from the cool to the highly uncool

Following on from the iphone’s vote at the UK’s coolest brand, Acer, a very uncool brand has developed their own smartphone using the Google Android system. The photos leaked to CNET UK show a very nice phone indeed. Called ‘Liguid’ it has a big bright screen and great handset design. I personally think that Android is a better mobile operating system than the iphone … more functionality and less prone to crashing, not to mention that I can make system updates without having to plug it into my laptop’s itunes.
So, is the Acer Liquid another likely challenger to the iphone? As with the other genuine contentders – The G1 and the Plam Pre, that all important coolness factor is missing. As long as Apple retain their cool brand image (and their competitors fail in the cool stakes), Apple’s iphone sales are likely to remain as strong as ever.

iphone app store’s in app payment: changing everything?

Apples new development which allows purchasing to be make within applications could become a significant change for the appstore revenue marketing.
Until now, apps were either free or paid. If you donwloaded the light version, you had to make a second download to upgrade to the paid app. Now, it can be done within the app itself. This seamlessness will undoubtedly encourage the take up of paid apps. At the same time I think it has good potential for the app consumer. Hopefully app developers will be more likely to offer free, lite versions as the upgrade option is simple.

However it goes further than that. The new move means that subscription and additional content can be sold through the app using micro payments. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the sales and revenue from istore apps.

There is a flip side to this though. According to MobileCrunch, however, the motive may have more to do with piracy prevention than anything. There is no doubt that pricay, or cracked iphone apps is a problem for developers. Many of them see 70-80% of their app usage coming from pirated copies. The in app purchase means that the app will require a unforgable receipt in order to run. These are authenticated on an app store server. Of course the problem is that it will require a data connection in order to run the app each time. Certain apps, such as single player games do not require any further connections. With the new system trying to use them on the London Underground, for example, will make them obsolete.
With a highly vocal anti-DRM movement out there, it could perhaps do more harm than good to the iphone appstore.

Palm Pre vs iphone: it helps to be a cool brand

Many people (well those who didn’t like Apple) were pinning their hopes on the Palm Pre offering a smartphone that would rival the iphone.
However, after a few short months, Palm have slashed the price in the US and there are rumours (depending on who you believe) that their are lay-offs at Palm.

The reviews certainly gave the palm a glowing report. However it has failed to ignite the public’s imagination. This is a similar echo to that of the ipod … there were (arguably) better music players out there, but the ipod became ubiquitous due to a combination of styling and user interface.

And that’s the point. What counts as better? Having used (and lost) the Google Phone (G1), it has better functionality than the iphone in many ways. But, it’s user interface doesn’t look as nice, and the handset itself looks kind of cheap. Apple have always known how to style their products, and user interface has always been their forte.

When it comes to phones, there’s no doubt that style and form win out over pure functionality or power. You only have to look at the best selling phone in 2005, the Motorola Razar. It’s usability was terrible (try downloading and adding a ring tone), but people loved it because it was slim and came in hot pink.

The reason is simple. Phones are also about identity. They are as much (if not more) of a statement about ourselves than the clothes we wear or the car we drive. And Apple and the iphone is a cool brand. So, maybe their competitors should spend less time on the technology and focus on becoming a cool brand.

iphone app usage and demographics

Update: see latest blog on iphone sales figures 2009. A case of some dodgy maths?

I have been happily quoting a statistic about iphone usage revealed by comScore that 70% of iphone users in the UK and some European countries are men. However I am finding myself in an interesting situation. I am beginning to feel that the annecdotal evidence doesn’t support this fact.

I was running a seminar for the Institute of Direct Marketing yesterday, and 1/3rd of the audience had an iphone. All women. But it’s not just that one seminar. I see it with my friends, and I see it on the street and the bus. Women like the iphone! And it’s fair enough. I don’t see the iphone as marketed specifically for men, nor is it the kind of techie gadget that will appeal to just they boys.

The sales of iphones are so rapid that it could be the demographic is simply changing quickly and the previous research is out of date. It will be interesting to see what the next report on iphone usage show us.9

Mobile Research into Spam SMS

Finally, after some weeks of writing and designing, or mobile research study into Spam SMS is published.

The study reveals some interesting things:
90% of respondents had received mobile marketing messages
68% of people have received unsolicted text messages
34% of people would complain to their operator about it
53% would like to choose the time of day to receive messages
66% think that clicking a link in a spam SMS will make a charge to their phone bill

That’s the downside from a marketing point of view, but it also revealed some positive things:
62% of people did not thing that Mobile Spam was on the increase
55% of people were happy to accept marketing messages where there were offers from specifically opted in companies

In short, it would seem that most people have a narrow permission spectrum when it comes to mobile marketing: most people are happy to get messages but only where they are offers that they have specifically asked for. However, stepping over that line means that messages may just be regarded as spam. And in the world of mobile, where things are highly personal, that means damaging the reputation of a brand.

Click here to download the Mobile Research into Spam SMS