There’s a general rule about consumer electronics: The older a device gets, the more competitors emerge and the prices drop. This was true for televisions, personal computers, and portable music players.
This was bound to happen with smartphones. But the iPhone has defied gravity.
On Tuesday, Apple will unveil the 17th iteration of its flagship product. Remarkably, in an era when most consumer devices have lost some of their appeal to users, Apple has increased its share of smartphone sales compared to less expensive rivals.
Over the past five years, the iPhone has increased its percentage of total smartphones sold worldwide, while increasing its share of sales in the world’s four largest regions: China, Japan, Europe, and India.
In the United States, which is the iPhone’s biggest market, the device now accounts for more than 50 percent of smartphone sales, up from 41 percent in 2018. Counterpoint Research, a technology firm, Benefits have helped to claim about A fifth of the world’s smartphone sales, up from a low of 13 percent In 2019.
Apple has expanded its smartphone empire as the wider industry faltered. In the last two years, Android smartphone sales have plummeted, but the iPhone has suffered only a slight decline as it continues to win new customers. It has done so despite being the most expensive device in the industry.
Apple has overcome price sensitivity by building a business that is reminiscent of American car sales. Like a car, the iPhone lasts for years and can be resold to recoup a new purchase. Wireless providers, like auto dealers, offer discounts and monthly payment plans that make buying the latest models more affordable. And customers, like brand-loyal car buyers, are more likely to buy another iPhone than switch to Google’s Android operating system.
Apple has also been lucky. Its two biggest rivals, Samsung and Huawei, have faltered in recent years. Samsung faltered in 2016 when Its flagship smartphone’s batteries burnt out on their own, Huawei, which was popular in China, Stumbled in 2020 after the Trump administration barred it from buying American technology.
The iPhone has avoided faltering with a reliable blueprint: Apple annually updates the iPhone’s spare but flashy design and reliable software, and brings it to the masses with an operation machine that turns 200 million a year with military precision Assembles iPhones flawlessly.
In the United States, the iPhone is expected to grow in popularity in the coming years. About 90 percent of teenagers have an iPhoneAccording to Piper Sandler, an investment bank.
For young people, iPhones equate to inclusion. Many choose it instead of Android because Apple’s messaging service, iMessage, will change the color of messages from its default blue to green if a non-iPhone user is in a messaging group. The stigma attached to green text messages is so obvious that when it came time for Dave Storrs’ 14-year-old son to get his first smartphone, the teen asked his father whether he wanted an iPhone or not at all.
“It’s a status thing,” said Mr. Storrs, a retired Army veteran who lives in El Paso. “They don’t want to be treated differently.”
The same pressure has been exerted on Mr. Storrs, who is 49. For more than a decade, he was proud to be called an “Android renegade”. He owned a range of LG and Motorola phones, while his son and other family members pressured him to buy an iPhone. He gave it a go this year when his family gave him a $99 pair of wireless AirPod earbuds from Apple.
Every time he wanted to use the AirPods on his Android phone, he had to manually sync them. This laborious process prompted him to buy the iPhone 13, which connects to AirPods instantly. After years of using a free Android phone, he now pays $11 a month for an iPhone. But he says he’ll never go back to Android because he likes being able to wear AirPods and take phone calls while cuddling his Catahoula leopard dog, Teddy.
“It’s absolutely convenient,” he said.
New buyers like Mr. Stores show how Apple is gaining customers. The difference between the two major operating systems is tilted in favor of Apple. According to technology research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, about 94 percent of iPhone customers are likely to buy another iPhone, while 91 percent of Android customers are likely to buy another Android.
The migration from Android to Apple has been accelerated due to promotional discounts, financing plans and trade-in offers, making the higher prices of the iPhone less of a deterrent. Wireless carriers struggled to acquire or retain customers after T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint in 2020 sweetened their offers. When the combined company, the new T-Mobile, iPhone 12 offered free with 30-month contractAT&T opposed a similar deal, said Cliff Maldonado of smartphone research firm Baystreet Research. It made switching painless.
Around the same time, Apple and wireless carriers began promoting monthly payment plans more aggressively. The plans cut the cost of a new iPhone from $800 to $1,200 per month to less than the $40 that customers had to pay upfront. prices are low For those who trade in used equipment, Old iPhones, which can bring up to $640They are auctioned off to buyers in Asia, who resell them at a markup, Mr. Maldonado said.
“The phone market is like the housing market,” he said. “You get equity, and pay over time.”
In China, the second most important country for Apple’s business, the iPhone has become the default choice for those who want a premium smartphone. Samsung was forced out of the market several years ago, and Huawei has been unable to make a phone with the latest wireless technology. The lack of competition has helped the iPhone become the best-selling smartphone in the country in recent quarters.
But new challenges are threatening Apple’s lead. last month, Huawei introduces a new premium smartphoneThe Mate 60 Pro is the first to feature chips capable of running on 5G cellular networks. Beijing also instructed employees of national government agencies not to use the iPhone for work. Instead, they have been encouraged to use domestic smartphone brands, raising the possibility that nationalistic momentum will drive down iPhone sales in the future. This news was first reported by wall street journal,
Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
Apple may be able to offset the decline in China with growth in India. The company now claims 5 percent of sales in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone nation, up from 1 percent in 2019. Counterpoint Research estimates that Apple could double its stake to 10 percent next year.
It has been many years since the iPhone’s rise in India. In 2017, Apple began working with government officials to begin manufacturing iPhones locally, a move that has improved affordability by avoiding import duties. it’s also Store opened in New Delhi And Mumbai.
The new flagship iPhones Apple is set to unveil this week will feature faster processors, more sophisticated cameras and titanium rather than stainless steel cases, according to supply chain analysts. The changes are expected to increase prices by $100 to $200, bringing the iPhone Pro to $1,100 and the Pro Max to $1,200.
But analysts predict iPhone loyalists will shy away from higher prices. The increase will be less than $5 per month for those on monthly plans and even less for those trading in old iPhones.
“The economy is doing great and everything costs more,” said Michael Levin, co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. “People are insensitive to the hike right now.”