I have been regularly reporting Apple iphone sales stats worldwide and in the UK iphone sales. And I have been regularly questioned about the validity of those figures. According to the latest reports, I was wrong. The figures are lower than I reported. Apple’s last quarter sales of the iphone were 8.75 million, with a total of just over 51m for the complete history of the iphone (all three models).
That makes it a very good selling phone by any standards. Not only that, but the iphone has made some major shifts in how we use our mobiles – apps being the most obvious one. BUT … the iphone is not the best selling phone ever. Neither is it the fastest selling phone ever. And at the same time, Android is catching up, selling 60% of the volume of iphones. OK, that’s across a number of mobiles. The point is that whilst the iphone is significant, it’s not the only handset out there!
With all the hype over app stores (yes, I do believe there is a lot of hype), it’s worth putting a bit of perspective on the size of the marketing compared to other mobile-related activities:
iphone has 35 million users is 0.7% of all phones worldwide and 3.5% of the US market (yes, it has sold 50+ million, but various people are on upgrades so in terms of active users the fiture is lower).
The current value of app sales across ALL handsets was $7 billion in 2009.
The value of MMS (arguably a niche medium) was $28 billion in 2009 (1.4 billion active users).
The global value of SMS? $128 billion (3 billion users).
*figures from Portio
Whilst a lot of media types are running around telling us the future of mobile is in apps, this kind of puts things into perspective really.
O2 have announced that their sales of the iphone have surpassed 2 million handsets, making it their best selling device. The operators sales of the iphone are likely to slow down as they have lost their exclusive agreement. There has also been an overall slowdown in demand for the iphone, which is likely to see Apple retain a strong, but no dominant position in the smartphone market. Vodafone claimed 100,000 sales in their first week after offering the iphone. Tesco and Orange have not yet provided up to date figures so it’s impossible to get an exact total for the UK, however it is a safe bet to say that total UK sales are between 2.25m and 2.5m iphones.
It is worth keeping in mind that this does not necessarily mean there are that many iphone users. A number of O2s sales will be represented by upgrades from the original handset and from the iphone 3G to the 3GS. A total of 2m UK users is therefore a pretty good estimate.
There are no demographics available for the device and it appears that the operators are not measuring this. However reports from Comscore and annecdotally suggests that they ownership is concentrated in the 20-40 yrs age range, and generally middle to higher incomes. Although it is available on pay as you go, most users are on subscription packages. A mixture of both cost and functions suggests that the iphone does not appeal to a younger age demographic.
Apple’s total worldwide iphone sales reached around 57 million in 2009, and at the current time they will be hovering around the 60 million mark. They have a 17% share of the Smartphone market behind Nokia and Blackberry.
The iphone’s launch on Vodafone on Thursday 14th Jan saw record day one sales. The network sold 50,000 units, compared to Orange’s 30,000 units on their first day in December 2009. As with all of the iphone ‘records’ there is no information published about O2s sales, but I would suspect that their first day of selling the iphone 3GS saw similarly high volumes.
Vodafone’s first day sales were in spite of a post Xmas lull in retail sales. It seems that the UK’s love afair with the iphone continues.
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.