Latest iphone sales figures: Apple Looses Market Share (again)

I’ve been saying this for a while, and in spite of the launch of the iphone 4, Apple has continued to loose its share of the smartphone market. Based on the first half of 2010, the smartphone manufacturers market shares are:

Nokia: market share 41% (up by 15%)

RIM (BlackBerry): market share 19% (up by 11%)

Apple iphone: market share 14% (down by 4%)

The rest of the market is made up by HTC (8%), Samsung (5%) and Motorola (5%) and one or two others. The biggest growth in OS was Android by over 400%, but that was obviously from a tiny start.

All of the big smartphone manufacturers have their problems, and in terms of design and user interface there is no question that many of them are running to catch up with Apple. Whilst the iphone is big in certain territories such as the US and UK, they are far from dominant in many other territories, where Blackberry often lead. Don’t get me wrong, Apple are a very profitable company and a signficant amount of those profits come from the handset sales. However they are far from leading the smartphone market in terms of sales, but clearly that is not their strategy. Perhaps the iphone 5, shown below may claw some of that share back?

Peaked too soon? Have the iphone’s sales flattened off?

Reports of Apple’s iphone sales for the last two quarters of 2009 show (relatively) slow sales and no increase in market share.
The third quarter saw 7.4m iphones sold and the Xmas period was a poor 8.7m. Blame it on the recession? To some extent yes, but if you compare it to the market leaders, Nokia and Blackberry, Apple’s 17% share of the smartphone market remained the as the previous quarters. In fact Nokia had a good end of year with handset sales bouncing back.
The market will only get tougher for Apple with other manufacturers from Motorola to Google releasing some quality, Android-based smartphones. The next upgrade for the iphone will be in June 2010, so there will likely to be a slow down in sales until at least that point. In the meantime, RIM will continue to grow their market share, not least due to growing interest by the teen phone market.
In the UK, a YouGov study found the iphone to be one of the most-loved coolest gadgets around. Why, when there is such popularity for Apple’s phone, will their market share decrease? In part, it’s one of cost. Whichever way you look at it iphones are pricey. However, the phone only appeals to quite a specific demographic. Generally 20-50 year old creative and media types. So lots of journalists, lots of journalists who will write about how great it is!
Given the success of the iphone, and the billions that Apple earns from apps, I’m sure the company is not very worried. They claimed at their ipad press conference that they were bigger than Nokia. Bigger profits-wise. However Apple have never aimed at monopolising the market. Whilst every other phone manufacturer has developed all flavours of phone – touch screen, keypad, media players etc – Apple has a one size fits all approach. And if you don’t like it, then buy someone elses. That’s not to say that the company doesn’t listen to its customers or the market, far from it. They are currently searching for a better mobile phone browser for example. However, those needs aside, the latest sales figures could be an indication that their phone sales have peaked.

I said at the end of 2008 that the iphone was niche. I still stand by that and I am of the firm view that Apple’s 17% share of the smartphone market is their peak. The iphone will remain much loved but only account for around 15% of the smartphhone market at best.

UK iphone sales: 30K for the first day with Orange

Orange’s first day of iphone sales on Weds 10th Nov topped 30,000 units. However the claim that this was the largest sale in one day in the UK is questioned by O2 in Gomonews. So it looks like there’s going to be something of a battle between the two operators in the run up to Christmas.

Current iphone sales levels in the UK are somewhat fuzzy, but they passed the 1 milliion mark in Feb 2009, so current estimates suggest somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million phones in the UK. Of course the winner in all of this is Apple.

Click here for current details of the iphone worldwide sales figures.

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?

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