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« Continuing Nokia Disaster in Just One Picture, today Picture 6: Revenues. What CEO is Allowed to Voluntarily Wipe Out Half of Total Revenues? Elop Thats Who | Main | Nokia Final Q4 Smartphones As Expected: 6.6M Total means Market Share now 3% (from 29% exactly 2 years ago) »

January 24, 2013

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Apple December Quarter: Surprisingly Tame Results. Market share for year is flat or maybe slightly down:

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Reinhard Haberfellner

YOU are disappointing me here , Tomi , not Apple. Record sales, record turnover, record profit and you call that tame ? If that comes from a Wall street analyst , its ok , cause they only have $ in their eyes and brains. But you have been known for a wider view.
Of course iPod sales go down if all smarter phones are iPods more or less . But if thats covered with record sales in the other category , fine for me. How did iPod sales perform compared to other music players only ? That would be interesting and to judge here.
How long does it take for you and several others to understand that Apple NEVER had highest marketshare in volume as target , never wanted to sell MOST of phones , Pods, personal computers or whatever.
Business excellence for me is not to be market leader in terms of volumes , shareholder value or exceeding last quarters figures. Its much more of a fine balance to grow in the right manner , make better products in all senses and not only screen size or processor speed . And it adds more to development of usage ( highest data traffic is on 4S and 5 as you may recall recent studies ), growth of Applications and Services and " a better life" every day . I know thats not a category for Analysts , but for us , the people ;-)

Huber

@Reinhard:

First of all, I am sceptical about this data traffic measurements. When I surf the web with both my Android tablet and phone, I have set the user agent to 'Windows Desktop' using the Dolphin Browse (I could also set the USer Agent to iPhone or iPad if I wanted to).

So Does my traffic show up as Android traffic at all, then? Or does it show up as Desktop traffic in such statistics? If the latter is the case, I'd consider such statistics wothless.

Secondly, Apple has lowered its forecast for 2013, so I wouldn't say all is well in iOS-country.

But the main point is that Apple is about to lose its coolness-factor. The iPhone5 does not impress me at all.

I have never been an Apple fan, since iOS is too restricted for me functionality-wise.

But two years ago, when I had the original Samsung Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2, I always had to admit that iOS is the 'cooler' OS - it was butter-smooth and looked well, albeit feature-restricted.

But right now I'm using an SGS2 with an AOSP-Android 4.2 and an Asus TF Prime (Android 4.1, overclocked with Data2SD).

The iPhone5 does not look cooler anymore, my SGS2 runs as butter-smooth, if not even smoother, the UI looks better (OK, this is subjective) and has loads of features the iPhone is missing.

And the iPad4 has a higher resolution screen than my old TF Prime of course, but apart from this iOS looks outdated in comparison.

Of course I don't want an Android monopoly, so I hope Apple comes up with something competitive. But they should do this quickly, otherwise they will fall behind.

cycnus

Tomi,

1. Why would you lower Q4 total number from 240 to 230? The 10 million lost of sales from apple, could end up in Android.
2. Right now Apple not only need cheaper iphone (yes, they need to be cheaper, competition ruin market price), but the MOST important thing is Apple need to have several 'SIZE'. One size does not fit all.
3. I try to follow you on twitter, after a while, i think you need to try Google+. The 140 character of Twitter make me sick.

Reinhard Haberfellner

@ Huber If you just see iPhone 5 in pictures and blogs I agree with you , but I was really surprised when I got my hands on the 5 first time , its so much better than my 4S . And if we hear about next generation needing 20% of display power only , that sounds to me as something very interesting coming . iPad mini will get "retina " display within short , and from ecosystem still is much more interesting as other tablets . Lets see in mid term who is right about Apples future , I prefer a good complete evolution over "low cost units" and short time sensations.

Huber

@Reinhard: No, I held the iPhone5 in my hand and played around with it, too. I was quite underwhelmed, I'd still prefer even my good old SGS2.

ej victor

Tomi how do you feel the iMessage news is playing with carriers - 2 billion text messages taken away from carrier each day. Additionally do you think that the Verizon numbers showing how badly the iPhone has affected it's profitability will make other carriers push harder fro Apple alternatives?

sve

The smartphones-only focus of this blog will run into difficulties when pretty soon every mobile device with a cpu will be able to make a 3G/4G connection. Will the discussion widen to include all mobile devices or narrow to include just handheld screensize-defined devices?

Baron95

This notion that Apple needs another iPhone model per year or more SKUs is absurd. Apple's iPhone average selling price is within 0.7% (using same accessory methodology) of what it was 1 year ago, and is hardly different than it was all the way back in 2008.

That is tremendous pricing power, which shows that Apple is the only smartphone OEM that has true pricing power and does not resort to discounts to move units.

Samsung is selling more units and getting more share, not because they have lots of screen sizes and lots of price points. They are selling more units simply because they have an ASP that is half Apple's and they have gross margins that are 1/5th of Apple's.

If Apple wanted to chase volume and market share, at the expense of lower margins and profits, which would make Tomi, and only Tomi, happy, they could do that overnight by simply cutting their ASP to accept Samsung-level profits.

That is NOT going to happen. It is not time yet for Apple to have a cheaper iPhone. What Apple needs now is to make China Mobile, DoCoMo, T-mobile USA, etc surrender and start selling the iPhone. All else is secondary to Apple's revenue and profit growth.

There is absolutely NO INDICATION that Apple's ecosystems is suffering (e.g. lack of music tracks on iTunes or lack of apps in the App Store) due to flat or even decreasing market share. When that happens, than it may be time to consider a cheaper iPhone.

Baron95

And, by the way, if/when Apple does the jungle iPhone for the emerging markets and poor people in advanced markets, my sense is that it will not even be called an iPhone.

It will probably be something like the iPodTouch 4G or iPodTouchLTE, sold direct to consumers, sans SIM, for users to choose the service provider.

khim

Apple is repeating the same mistake it did the first time around (with Mac): they think they can keep their margins and win. No, they can not.

@Baron95: That is tremendous pricing power, which shows that Apple is the only smartphone OEM that has true pricing power and does not resort to discounts to move units.

No, that means that Android is not yet "good enough". When Android will be "good enough" Apple's iPhone empire will suddenly collapse. It happened with Windows95 on PC market, I'm not sure when it'll happen in smartphone market, but I'll not be surprised if it'll be this year with Android 5.0 or next year with Android 6.0.

@Baron95: There is absolutely NO INDICATION that Apple's ecosystems is suffering (e.g. lack of music tracks on iTunes or lack of apps in the App Store) due to flat or even decreasing market share. When that happens, than it may be time to consider a cheaper iPhone.

When that's happen Apple will need the ability to jump to some other market because iPhone sales will either go sharply down or profits from iPhone sales will go sharply down. Without some new "revolutionary" gadget (iTV? iCar? whatever) the only thing Apple will need will be tombstone.

wertigon

The problem with Apple, the way I see it, is that their entire strategy and business model is the same as always - Take away the complicated, make a few high-quality number of phones, and add profit margins up the wazoo.

Seen from a consumer perspective, this model has merit. I'd be quite happy to pay a premium for the easy alternative. My time is valuable. Apple makes the promise of saving me time, but only if I'm willing to pay for it. They make the promise of taking care of everything - truly *everything* - related to my phone, and I don't have to worry about anything.

The advantages to this model are nice, but it comes with a few drawbacks such as vendor lock in, high prices and vendor inflexibility. See, Apple can't "make it simple" without sacrificing flexibility. They can only do one 100% quality-proofed iPhone a year. Making two would mean two 90% quality-proofed iPhones a year, and Apples business model does not allow them to make things with less quality. It's 100% or nothing.

That's why their customers love them. But that's also what makes them so vulnerable. Android gets 3-4 90% quality-proofed phones each year, and most people find that for their needs, that's good enough. Over time, more and more will choose Android over iPhone, pushing Apple to the place they were in the nineties with their Mac. And then they have to get the next big thing - Their new iPod, if you will.

I sure hope before that happens, that a third ecosystem (preferrably Tizen or other Meego-derivative) establishes itself - else Android will be as hated as Windows is today.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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