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July 27, 2016


Abdul Muis


I'm eager to hear your opinion about iPhone 5SE & Apple's China situation.



It looks like the peak of iPhones is gone.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

So another down quarter compared to previous year - and this in spite of the SE. Who told you so? :)

Again, here is my (amateur) spreadsheet I'm using, for reference:

It is a very crude model with a rather large margin of error, but it does show the trend. At this point Apple is heading towards a major drop in market share (again) at 13.7% market share for end-of-year (14.9% market share right now). This of course assumes the 348M for total smartphones this quarter is correct, in a couple of weeks we know final numbers for Q2. :)


This could be iPhones year from hell. Oppo just announced 22.9% Chinese market share for the month of June 2016 (GSMarena and Forbes articles), then Huawei at 21% with Vivo at 12% and Iphone at only 9%. BBK who owns Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus (????) must be doing something right if these numbers are correct - time will tell if that market share is sustainable or only a one off flash in the pan.

Abdul Muis

Australia bank refuse to pay APPLE TAX

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Piot: My model follows the average ratio for each quarter (e.g. Q1 is phones sold Q1 divided by phones sold Q2). Of course this is a simplified model that fails to account for quite a few things. Hence it's accuracy is not very good. I could do some fancy calculations regarding the derivative, but I can't be bothered. This is mostly done for fun in my spare time.

If the same trend keeps up with around 15% drop next quarter as well, then we are looking at around 40M units sold Q3.

That means, in order to top last year, Apple must sell around 99 million smartphones in Q4 for this year to not be a peak iPhone moment and loss of market share. If the 15% keeps on in Q4 (not saying it will, but if it does), Apple will even end up below 200M units sold.

I think 80M Q4 is a realistic number at this point which means 205-215M units for Apple, as for the total smartphone market, 1550M or so is realistic methinks. That gives a marketshare of 13.2% to 13.8%.

Unless the iPhone 7 is a smash hit uber success like the 6S was. Chances are, it's not.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


Yep, last year was a humongous success, and quite possibly the last iPhone success for this decade. I doubt we'll see everything converge as neatly as it did for iPhone 6. :)

Thing is Apple needs every major iPhone to be as big a smash hit success as the iPhone 6 - because their reputation is starting to tarnish, and at this point their reputation is all they have got left.

Just like Nintendo, they will have a ton of good years before slowly fading into obscurity, but it will eventually happen. For better or worse. :)

Wayne Borean

Just a bit off-topic, but DAESH/ISIL avoids IOS devices, they prefer Android.

Wayne Borean

Then there's the Ambani family. The Ambanis own Reliance and will deliver the first 4G service in India.


More of the samd news:

Android Handset Makers' Advance Squeezes Apple

John A

I guess with the iPhone 7 it will be a boost again. But I think Apple will also go for software/services. Like Apple Music that also can be used in android etc..

The iPhones are expensive devices. So they can never reach same marketshare as Android got on phones. But we will see the companys strategy in september I suppose when they have a event.


And today Microsoft proudly announced 2850 more layoffs in addition to the 1850 previously announced in May.

Question: When your operating system is struggling how do improve its quality?
Answer: By reducing the workforce.


Even better news from Windows Phone: 1.2 million handsets sold last quarter. Isn't that awesome, or what?



Last year the iCrowd was heavily denying that the increase in sales was a spike, and now that it was proven correct what everybody else was saying they are quick to point out that the drop in sales this year is normal business.

Yes, people! We told you so last year already! It's not rocket science to predict this particular development but yet you guys are one year late realizing that it's actually true.


Didn't you know? Only every other iPhone can be a huge sales success.
But Apple makes up for that with its huge services business.

Oh, and Android phones are totally sold only on price. Nevermind that the last seven years, the world's most popular Android phone was from decidedly high-priced Samsung's Galaxy S series, but that was only possible due to Samsung shamelessly copying Apple's rounded corners.


Yes, I know how iEconomics work. The way they mask out reality reminds me a lot of how Republican politics in the US work...

Per "wertigon" Ekström


Naturally I update estimates as data comes in. The "My estimates" box is based on a 10% growth reduction from the start of the year - This seems to be slightly optimistic, it seems more like a 12% growth reduction which would mean 1540M units sold this year. If you want the true, updated number, look to the yearly total which currently states 1555M (will be revised as the final number (348M?) is official).

However - Apple has an even worse growth curve clocking in at something like 18% growth reduction! Of course, these numbers are based on linear growth, and the reality is virtually never linear. I could develop a more complex model, but right now I do not see much need for it - I got better things to do with my spare time, and this is but an intellectual exercise, I'm not trying to out-predict Tomi haha. :)

Yes, I do expect even in these conditions there will be growth in smartphones. So does Tomi. If you look historically Q1 is the worst quarter for smartphones, followed by Q2, Q3 and Q4 (as opposed to Apple which is, Q3, Q2, Q1, Q4).


Who on this blog used "spike" like you said? Sounds like a strawman to me.

Smartphone replacement cycle averages 18 months, so the expectation was that the iPhone 6 big screen effect would gradually wear off over the course of 18 months, and this is close to what actually happened.

> Sales have not fallen back to sales before "the spike".

Let's look at the numbers (iPhone 6 launched in September 2014 in most countries, October 2014 in China):
Q2 2013: 31.2M units / 13.4% share
Q2 2014: 35.2M units / 11.8% share
Q2 2015: 47.5M units / 13.6% share
Q2 2016: 40.4M units / 12% share (preliminary)

So it seems to me that whatever spike there was in 2015 is now over and we are back at Q2 2014 levels.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


While the sales have not fallen back to the levels before the spike...

The market share level has sunk below 15% again, and is projected to sink as low as 13.5% this year.

The iPhone 6 spike was massively prolonged by marketing blunders and competitors releasing subpar phones. Seriously the Samsung 6 was sub-par, the 810 Snapdragon was sub-par, and there weren't many *well-known* alternatives besides those in the premium space.

One big problem I think is that while Apple managed to grow their customer base, they are also taking longer to update in general since their iPhone can last now three years instead of two. This means instead of selling 500M units in 2 years they will now sell 600M units in 3 years. So 100M more users, but each year they get lower sales.

I think this is an inevitable conclusion as the market matures... :)

Per "wertigon" Ekström


Numbers are based on past difference between quarters, that is:

If Q1 sold 10M, and Q2 sold 15M, then next year, if Q1 sold 20M, then Q2 should sell 15/10*20 = 3/2*20 = 30M.

Apple has yet to move away from their "one iPhone model a year" strategy I think, I have a feeling the SE was a one-off but I could be wrong.

Of course this is a very optimistic and simplistic model, the estimates posted in the blue box were my start-of-the-year number and that's the high end of the yearly numbers. Yet, 210M seems like a decent total number for Apple, which at 1500M units would be... Exactly 0.14% market share. So I'm pretty confident Apple market share will be hurting this year, by a LOT. Q2 global numbers would be 348M which would again be lower than my 353M but not by much, waiting for Tomis Q2 report before filling that in... :)

Finally, this is not an attempt to get the numbers 100% correct, I'm only doing this for a lark. If I was actually serious about any of these numbers, I'd fit a sigmoid function to the growth curve and try to differentiate that and then try to predict the growth based on the derivative. As is I simply use a scalar number to cope with the growth slowdown - which is error-prone and yes, I am aware of these flaws, I simply do not care enough to fix it, since the general theme holds true (but not the exact numbers).

Do note that while global market is down by 2M so far (or is it? my numbers show a different start), Apple is down by 17.11M. Percentage wise, that means global market is down 0.3% and Apple is down by 7.4% for first two quarters.

Unless the iPhone sells 100M units in Q4, Apple will end up with a market share at 2009 and actual *unit loss* this year. From the rumors I've heard, the iPhone 7 (or 6T or whatever is released) won't bring much new to the table this year either, so look at sales in the ballpark of 75M-85M for Q4.

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