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January 28, 2015

Comments

Lullz

@Baron95

"this silly argument about forecast accuracy is detracting from the discussion."

In a way, yes, but we had some really good talks here. Tomi explained what was the point of his forecasts and this was obviously the full year. Tomi was also very honest about missing the iPhone 6 sales and it amazed me how some people are still complaining about that. Didn't they see when Tomi said how he missed Q4 but how the point really was about full year 2014 and there it wasn't really that bad but quite nice actually.

This is why this was an important and very fruitful discussion. Only if some people would bother to read and understand what Tomi said. Have they missed his message or what is this about?

"The key issue is that folks like Huber and Rotten are in total denial

This is true. I asked them about how many units Apple should sell in order to prove that there is genuine demand for iPhone 6 but they were unable to answer even that. This is the ultimate proof that they are doing just what you are saying. They are in denial. If they were honest they would have been able to tell us some reasonable number but no. They can't do that because they fear Apple might be able to match that.

That effectively proves how talking with them is almost impossible. They just like to badmouth Apple because they don't like the company. I'm very sorry to say this but this is how lit looks like. Let's hope they can prove me wrong but I'm not counting on that.

Tomi really isn't like them since he can actually tell us what would be needed to prove that Apple had a good product with lots of demand.

"2 - Apple's share of the total phone market has never peaked. It continues to grow slowly. It's share of its addressable market (premium phones selling for over $400) continues grow."

Apple's market share and the growth rate of course depends on how you measure it. Assuming that Apple will be able to maintain the growth on unit sales, the company should start growing market share on smartphones since the growth rate on smartphones will no longer be what it used to be.

"3 - Premium brand consumers are growing immensely for all brands from Porsche to Prada to Apple. Each day, tens of thousands of people in the work join the middle/upper classes than can afford an iPhone."

This is naturally a key element into understanding the growth potential of iPhone but I don't remember you explaining how many people in the world have so much income they would be able to buy one. I have said there are probably 2 - 2.5 Billion who would be able to buy one if they really needed it but most of them couldn't possibly justify the purchase. How many could buy and justify the purchase? And how many would be able to do that in 5 years? Do you have an opinion about that?

"4 - Premium brands sell on image/emotion/experience, not feature lists."

You probably slightly underestimate feature list but in general you are right. If the device feels right for someone, that someone will most likely buy it. For me iPhone 6 feels like worth the money but the best Android phones seem too expensive compared to what they would be able to offer for me. That's for me.

"5 - Chinese and Japanse consumers are enamored with Apple and other Western premium brands, but not with Asian brands. Apple is the only Wester brand in the top 10."

Apple gets too little credit from succeeding in Japan. This is obvious. Japan has been traditionally the first in picking up new trends and this trend suggests that iPhone will continue growing. This is not a guarantee but something suggesting that happening.

"There is very little that Samsung can do, just as there was very little Nokia can do."

True. Apple has the option to adding some features the others already added but the others no longer have that as something they could do. This is really almost irrelevant but I suppose it can be used as an example for those people who worship specs.

"Folks like Rotten and Huber are in a world of hurt, because they can't understand how premium consumers make decision."

This has been obvious. One very important point they ignore is the continuity. Some people feel comfortable when they know that all the data, settings and everything can be moved to the next phone without problems. While this can be done on most Android phones, it's impossible to know this for sure. With iPhone I can count on that happening but if I picked an Android phone today and another next year, how could I be sure that I could move everything just as comfortably I can with iPhone? They don't get this and yet this is something what most premium consumers expect.

Maggan

@Per

"Apple will fuck up. Every company do. And once they fuck up, they will lose market share."

Apple will fail because all companies fail. And it will happen sometime in the future, maybe within twenty years, maybe not.

A bold predicition, to be sure.

/M

Huber

@Lullz:

"This is true. I asked them about how many units Apple should sell in order to prove that there is genuine demand for iPhone 6 but they were unable to answer even that. This is the ultimate proof that they are doing just what you are saying. They are in denial. If they were honest they would have been able to tell us some reasonable number but no. They can't do that because they fear Apple might be able to match that."

OK: I predict a global market share for Apple in 2015 of 12% of _SMARTPHONES_ sold.

"This has been obvious. One very important point they ignore is the continuity. Some people feel comfortable when they know that all the data, settings and everything can be moved to the next phone without problems. While this can be done on most Android phones, it's impossible to know this for sure. "

This is bullshit. I never had a problem with data migration on Android, even when going e.g. from Asus to Sony.

Of course people using the proprietary apps from the vendors have more problems, but nobody forces them to go this route.

Also, I know how iSheep make their decision: They live under the delusion that iPhones are something superiour and hence are worth more money than their competitors.

When they buy their iGadgets, this induces "good feelings" in their brains, so they feel good.

And they have no problem to pay €700 for their iPhone 6 even when an iPad Air 2 sells for €450 and the iPad has actually more expensive hardware and basically the same OS. On top of it, the iPhone 6 has the economies of scale on its side. But all of this does not matter.

I just think that this is a retarded way of making decisions, especially for a device with ridiculously restricted functionality.

But we have already discussed this issue to death here:

I think that people who fall for Apple's marketing machine are morons, especially when they brag about the profits of their beloved corporation - in my opinion they are glad to be ripped off, which is nothing else than sheer stupidity.

Some people here think that I don't understand the superiority of their beloved iGadgets and also that I don't understand the tremendous value they represent.

We should just leave this topic, there is nothing new we could discuss at the moment.

Tomi T Ahonen

KPOM

No. You know what will be your next comment to the Communities Dominate Blog. Don't try to play nice now, thats too late. You know EXACTLY what you have to post (and nothing else) Then we see if you may return to open discussions

(PS I am also open to an apology if you so feel haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

AndThisWillBeToo

@Lullz
"I don't remember you explaining how many people in the world have so much income they would be able to buy one."

While Baron tries to wake up I'll throw in my 2c:

"We estimate that approximately 800 million people have a high-end smartphone, and that – based on income levels across geographies – perhaps 1.25 billion can afford one, suggesting we are past the steep part of the adoption curve for new high-end smart phone users."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/09/are_there_enough_mega_rich_fanbois_to_keep_apple_afloat/

Lullz

@Huber

"OK: I predict a global market share for Apple in 2015 of 12% of _SMARTPHONES_ sold."

Thanks. That's fair from you. We can compare our predictions next year. I predicted 249-273 Million phones sold by Apple and you market share but those can be easily compared once 2015 is over.

"This is bullshit. I never had a problem with data migration on Android, even when going e.g. from Asus to Sony. Of course people using the proprietary apps from the vendors have more problems, but nobody forces them to go this route."

That route is exactly the problem. It's impossible for an average consumer to know what is proprietary and what's not. People who just want to use the devices are not going to figure out things like that but they only use the phone. How can those people be sure if the Android phone they pick will allow to move all the data to the next phone? That would require studying the phones and that's extra work and out of the question for lots of people.

"Also, I know how iSheep make their decision: They live under the delusion that iPhones are something superiour and hence are worth more money than their competitors."

The same could be said about the Android sheep. Those people flock to buy an Android decide because some other people are using them and they want to have the same kind of device the rest of the sheep have. I can easily say and be right about saying how the Android sheep think they have picked a superior device with most value for their money. They can easily brag about that while there is no reason to.

"When they buy their iGadgets, this induces "good feelings" in their brains, so they feel good."

The same goes for Android gadgets. People think they feel good about buying those devices no matter if they are any good or not.

"And they have no problem to pay €700 for their iPhone 6 even when an iPad Air 2 sells for €450 and the iPad has actually more expensive hardware and basically the same OS. On top of it, the iPhone 6 has the economies of scale on its side. But all of this does not matter."

You make this really easy for me. People buying Android phones have no problem paying hundreds of euros for a device while they can't really know it's the best possible option and if there is a cheaper one available. Actually there usually is a cheaper option available but people rarely pick the absolutely cheapest one when they can't be directly compared.

"I just think that this is a retarded way of making decisions, especially for a device with ridiculously restricted functionality."

I can also say how it's retarded to buy an Android device when it can't run the apps I want to run. No problem with that. I can call that restricted functionality and be right about that. No, the apps I want are not available for Android and no, I'm not going there with listing them. This was just an example of how Android can feel extremely restricted for me.

How can you know what the other people need and what's restricted to them? Claiming to know that sounds really bold to my ears.

"I think that people who fall for Apple's marketing machine are morons, especially when they brag about the profits of their beloved corporation - in my opinion they are glad to be ripped off, which is nothing else than sheer stupidity."

You feel like that and you have every right to feel that way. No problem there. On the other hand I feel that Android users are quite often ripped off for paying too much for second grade devices. We can both feel like that but it really proves nothing more than what we feel about the subject.

"Some people here think that I don't understand the superiority of their beloved iGadgets and also that I don't understand the tremendous value they represent."

That also going the other way around. You obviously think how iPhone users don't understand the superiority of the Android devices.

Have you ever thought that people probably have very different needs from yours and they are not really stupid when they pick something you don't understand?

It looks that you don't really understand why people choose iPhone over some Android device. This is actually good news to Apple since as long as people fail to understand that, Apple is safe and can producing devices some people really want to buy.

Tomi T Ahonen

KPOM

You will not waste our time any more.

Your next comment DOES answer THE question asked, and your comment contains nothing else. If not, I start to delete your recent comments. First time you abuse me next by not doing as required, I will delete your last 10 comments posted. Don't test me

Tomi Ahonen

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Lullz:

So it is religion now to make the observation that Apple is doing the exact same screwups as it did 1981? Fine with me. :)

Meanwhile the Android ecosystem will produce an iPhone killer. I predict this iPhone killer, when it arrives, will cost half the price of an iPhone but have feature parity of 90% or more. Just like the IBM PC was the ultimate Macintosh killer.

And that is why Apple will fail with their current strategy. :)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all,

Baron95 has been posting on both this Apple thread and the LG thread. He/she made a great comment about the upgrade frequency at the iPhone, so I am copying it here so we can continue this discussion here about Apple rather than there with LG and the other brands. Baron wrote:

@Tomi on the user base upgrade analysis - we are in a agreement I simply mistyped, didn't mean to say 110M iPhone 6/6+, meant to say 110M all iPhones.

But the key point is that in 130 days on sale, only 13-14% of the iPhone user population (400M?) has upgraded to iPhone 6/6+. So average it out to 1% conversion every 10 days, so even if this huge upgrade rate was sustained, it would take 1000 days - 3 years for the base to upgrade.

That seems to be a very sustainable business. If Apple launches a new phone every year, but it is taking 3 years for the base to upgrade to the new model, they are certainly attracting a lot of new users.

(ends)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Lullz

@Baron95

"this silly argument about forecast accuracy is detracting from the discussion."

In a way, yes, but we had some really good talks here. Tomi explained what was the point of his forecasts and this was obviously the full year. Tomi was also very honest about missing the iPhone 6 sales and it amazed me how some people are still complaining about that. Didn't they see when Tomi said how he missed Q4 but how the point really was about full year 2014 and there it wasn't really that bad but quite nice actually.

This is why this was an important and very fruitful discussion. Only if some people would bother to read and understand what Tomi said. Have they missed his message or what is this about?

"The key issue is that folks like Huber and Rotten are in total denial

This is true. I asked them about how many units Apple should sell in order to prove that there is genuine demand for iPhone 6 but they were unable to answer even that. This is the ultimate proof that they are doing just what you are saying. They are in denial. If they were honest they would have been able to tell us some reasonable number but no. They can't do that because they fear Apple might be able to match that.

That effectively proves how talking with them is almost impossible. They just like to badmouth Apple because they don't like the company. I'm very sorry to say this but this is how lit looks like. Let's hope they can prove me wrong but I'm not counting on that.

Tomi really isn't like them since he can actually tell us what would be needed to prove that Apple had a good product with lots of demand.

"2 - Apple's share of the total phone market has never peaked. It continues to grow slowly. It's share of its addressable market (premium phones selling for over $400) continues grow."

Apple's market share and the growth rate of course depends on how you measure it. Assuming that Apple will be able to maintain the growth on unit sales, the company should start growing market share on smartphones since the growth rate on smartphones will no longer be what it used to be.

"3 - Premium brand consumers are growing immensely for all brands from Porsche to Prada to Apple. Each day, tens of thousands of people in the work join the middle/upper classes than can afford an iPhone."

This is naturally a key element into understanding the growth potential of iPhone but I don't remember you explaining how many people in the world have so much income they would be able to buy one. I have said there are probably 2 - 2.5 Billion who would be able to buy one if they really needed it but most of them couldn't possibly justify the purchase. How many could buy and justify the purchase? And how many would be able to do that in 5 years? Do you have an opinion about that?

"4 - Premium brands sell on image/emotion/experience, not feature lists."

You probably slightly underestimate feature list but in general you are right. If the device feels right for someone, that someone will most likely buy it. For me iPhone 6 feels like worth the money but the best Android phones seem too expensive compared to what they would be able to offer for me. That's for me.

"5 - Chinese and Japanse consumers are enamored with Apple and other Western premium brands, but not with Asian brands. Apple is the only Wester brand in the top 10."

Apple gets too little credit from succeeding in Japan. This is obvious. Japan has been traditionally the first in picking up new trends and this trend suggests that iPhone will continue growing. This is not a guarantee but something suggesting that happening.

"There is very little that Samsung can do, just as there was very little Nokia can do."

True. Apple has the option to adding some features the others already added but the others no longer have that as something they could do. This is really almost irrelevant but I suppose it can be used as an example for those people who worship specs.

"Folks like Rotten and Huber are in a world of hurt, because they can't understand how premium consumers make decision."

This has been obvious. One very important point they ignore is the continuity. Some people feel comfortable when they know that all the data, settings and everything can be moved to the next phone without problems. While this can be done on most Android phones, it's impossible to know this for sure. With iPhone I can count on that happening but if I picked an Android phone today and another next year, how could I be sure that I could move everything just as comfortably I can with iPhone? They don't get this and yet this is something what most premium consumers expect.

Tomi T Ahonen

Responding to Baron95 and the frequency of updates

First, thats a cool way to look at it, thanks. I hadn't counted it that way before. I have to think if this gives an additional angle also for my handset business understanding. Seriously, thanks.

Secondly yeah the math looks solid that 1% is upgraded every 10 days and 1000 days to upgrade the total base. It does also fit in well with my installed base analysis (replacement cycles) by which iPhones live longer than any other handsets on Android, even longer than Symbian Nokia used to live (when millions shipped down South from affluent countries to emerging world markets where they were sold second hand for a second life).

That does give Apple a fantastic base of very reliable repeat business. But thats of course not growth. Then they do also need to find either new customers to buy iProducts or make more money out of current iProduct owners. That could be from selling them more iToys like Apple Watch now, or like a good drug dealer, sell cheap stuff first, get the customer addicted, and THEN raise the prices and make the profits - haha in some way thats been the price evolution of the iPhone flagship line. And incidentially, its what I also argued Apple SHOULD do with the 'Nano' iPhone so I am hoping/expecting the iPhone 6C to follow now after the 5C as their bargain-basement price - at Apple's understanding of that concenpt haha, there also is a bargain-basement Porsche which is still more expensive than the average car.

And that brings me all the way back to my initial point about the Nano iPhone years ago - Apple is addictive. Apple can now get less affluent - but still middle class - customers in the Emerging World to join the iReligion. Most who join the cult will never leave. As the Emerging World gains affluence, these middle class customers will either replace their cheap iPhone next time with another cheapest version - or many will go up into mid-price or premium iPhones. At worst they get more repeat customers on still a highly profitable gadget. At best they migrate these addictive customers all the way to buy the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2.0 etc...

But back to Baron's calculation. Good math, good thinking. Now the new customer side will then keep shrinking. And that number is also of interest. Whether we count annual cycles or handset replacement cycles (say at roughly 2 years) the proportion of total iPhone sales is ever less to first-time iPhone owners. At the first year it was 100% to first-time buyers and soon it will be less than 10% to first-time buyers. Would also be an interesting analysis to see how that has evolved over time.

Anyway, all you debaters here in the thread. What do we think of Baron's math and sustainable iBusiness?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

KPOM I just deleted your last 10 comments.

Now if you want to ever post here again, you will post TWO comments. The first is an apology for wasting my time and our readers time.

The second is the response to the question asked, with no other commentary in that posting.

You will not post more until I acknowledge that you have your privileges back.

If you post anything else, I will delete 20 of your past comments. And I am not playing this game anymore. This is your last warning. You will not come to my backyard and shit on me. You will not abuse your privileges on this blog. I am here voluntarily providing this free blogsite for my friends to discuss the industry. Nobody comes here to abuse me. You have been warned.

Tomi Ahonen

Lullz

@PWE

"So it is religion now to make the observation that Apple is doing the exact same screwups as it did 1981? Fine with me. :)"

No, it's more like common sense to say that your argument is not really making sense. You also said that Apple will fail because every company do. Sounds like you have decided that Apple needs to fail.

What it comes to religion, it has indeed become a religion trying to badmouth Apple. This is understandable since not everyone likes to see one company currently succeeding better than the others. It was exactly the same when Nokia was doing fine. People badmouthed the company just because.

"Meanwhile the Android ecosystem will produce an iPhone killer. I predict this iPhone killer, when it arrives, will cost half the price of an iPhone but have feature parity of 90% or more. Just like the IBM PC was the ultimate Macintosh killer."

You make some bold assumptions. There is really no need to have 90% of the features. All it takes is the competition having those features the people buying the phones need. That may be anything between 1-99% but saying that it's more like 90% is just not making any sense.

Today on the high end Android is not able to match the features iPhone has and this is obvious from the high end sales. Apple is selling very well there.

How it's in the future? I'm quite sure that Apple will sell quite well this year but I'm not going to make that kind of bet for for a longer period of time. You on the other hand make that kind of bet and only because you think that Apple needs to fail.

You sound quite ironic when you say that having that device for killing the iPhone will take 5-20 years. Actually, that sounds really stupid. 5-20 years and a device with 90% of the features.

Seriously?

Tomi T Ahonen

PS all in the thread

Don't answer Baron95's question about if you own or have shorted Apple stock haha. Funny line Baron, i'll let it stay but NOW we wont' talk about whats in your investment portfolios, ok?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS Baron95

Nice summary about Apple the company and its customers and long-run viability of its business vs many classic global giants

I totally agree and I think most in this discussion do agree in their hearts, they would see Apple likely to be able to sustain the premium customer business indefinitely like Mercedes making premium cars for a century (PS did you know Daimler-Benz introduced the Mercedes name based on an Austrian racing driver who named his Daimler-Benz built car & racing team Mercedes..)

So yeah, I don't think anyone here really sees Apple as any kind of threat to die or vanish or 'go over a cliff' do we?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Lullz

@Tomi

Ok, understandable. I've removed that.

Here is the rest of the post.

About Baron's math, I'm not quite sure but it seems reasonable at this moment. Something is not quite adding up because the replacement rate is not as fast as I would expect it to be. One explanation is that people who buy an iPhone are using it twice as long as people purchasing Android phones. In a way that would make sense. Using the device twice as long would make it less expensive for the user.
Replacement users who are almost guaranteed to buy another Apple device will give Apple a real competitive advantage. They need to gain less new users than the other brands since they are more likely to keep the old ones. This has been true in the past.

We should know what is the replacement cycle for iPhone users and how many of the people purchasing an iPhone are doing it for the first time.

Tomi T Ahonen

Lullz

Cheers. I knew you'd understand :-) I also removed my comment which referenced you, as I know your original posting was made in good faith attempting to help :-)

Tomi :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

KPOM I deleted 20 of your most recent comments.

Now its the end. You know what your next 2 postings have to be, or its over. Don't write that you don't know what to do. I know you can read. If you post anything here other than the two short separate comments that I expect, if you post anything else, you will be blocked forever. And I will delete your history here ie all your past messages.

You've seen this opera before and you know me, there is only one way this ends if you intend to participate here again.

Tomi Ahonen

Catriona

Good insight by Tomi and Baron95. I just have a few (small!) quibbles:

@Baron95, if 13% of the iPhone installed base upgraded to the iPhone 6/6+ in the last fiscal quarter, if Apple could somehow keep up that rate it would suggest that 52% would upgrade in a year, and it would take 2 years for the entire base to upgrade. Obviously they won't continue at that clip, but Tomi did ask us to check your math. :-)

@Tomi, I read through the transscript, and Tim Cook made a few statements that I think can reconcile your comments with his. I think you are spot on that around 7 million of the iPhone 6/6+ sales were to new Apple customers, and Cook gave no indication about the percentage of new vs. Android switchers except to say that it's the highest in the 4 launch years they have been tracking that statistic. However, I think what you and Baron95 are forgetting is that the roughly 22 million customers who bought older iPhones came from somewhere, too. Many were upgrading from older iPhones such as the 4 or 4S, of course, which boosts Baron95's upgrade rate up a bit. But do you think that many of the Android switchers bought the 5S or 5C, and that those may have been the models that hurt the Galaxy S5, rather than the 6? After all, both were $100 cheaper after the launch than before.

Catriona

@Baron95, Tim Cook's response was to a question for the quarterly call about the sustainability of sales into the current quarter and beyond, so I interpreted it to mean the state of affairs as of December 27, 2014. Either way, I think that you should consider that there must have been some upgrade activity within the 22 million older iPhone sales. As an anecdote, two of my colleagues updated from the 4S to the 5S. One of them told me the sales person asked her three times was she sure she wanted the 5S and not the 6. :)

Anyway, thanks for the response. I did a little more analysis after that post, and saw that Ben Bajarin has an interesting chart on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BenBajarin/status/560653556542226434) that may shed some light. Maybe Gonzo can use his financial analysis skills to get us closer, but I'll give it a go. I'm not sure if it belongs here or on the Bloodbath post, but I think it's entirely possible that Apple accounted for 10 million or so of Samsung's unit shipment drop last quarter (and possibly some of Q3).

Based on the trajectory from 2011-2013, we're trying to "find" about 20-25 million in lost unit sales in Q3-14 and Q4-14 in order to normalize Samsung's sales. Looking at Bajarin's chart, we see Huawei with a surprise uptick in Q4-14, and of course there is Xiaomi, which is about 10 million units up from the same time last year. I think those two can explain about 15 million of "lost" Samsung unit sales in Q4. Now turning to Apple, there 7 million known new Apple customers from sales of the iPhone 6/6+, and 22 million buyers of older iPhones unaccounted for. Let's say 2/3 of them were upgraders. That indicates roughly 14-15 million customers new to Apple in Q4. Whether they were switchers from Android or new to smartphones, they were all potential Samsung customers. Obviously, not all of the 14-15 million new Apple buyers would have gone to Samsung, but it's conceivable that 10 million would have.

This is where I think a brief profit analysis (sorry!) is helpful to understand the impact on Samsung's handset sales. Samsung's mobile profits dropped by $3.5 billion from Q4-13 to Q4-14. Profits were essentially unchanged between Q3-14 and Q4-14. 15 million high-end sales likely would have contributed about $3 billion to the bottom line. Analysts would be disappointed, but not panicking. This reinforces to me that Samsung is losing considerable sales at the high end, at least relative to what they would have had if not for the iPhone 6/6+ launch. Admittedly, this analysis doesn't explain what happened in Q3-14, unless potential Samsung buyers held off to see what Apple was going to release, and just haven't purchased phones from anyone yet. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung at least announces the Galaxy S6 early next month to avoid losing further sales to Apple now that there is plenty of inventory of all the phones.

Do you agree, or am I missing something here?

The comments to this entry are closed.

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