10th Anniversary iPhone May be Apple’s Biggest Seller to Date

Next week Apple will release their 10th anniversary iPhone line, which is a huge milestone for this Silicon Valley giant.
To date, Apple has sold well over 1 billion iPhones since its launch in 2007.

Apple accelerated the growth of iPhones by close to 1/2 billion from 2014 to 2016 or in just two years and given what we know from the last three Apple earnings reports Apple’s sales of iPhones to date are around 1.3 billion to date.

With the new iPhones about to be launched and given that Apple has interest in using this 10th-anniversary model to move the design and features of any new iPhones to a new level, I expect that Apple could have its best year of iPhone sales in its history over the next 12 months.

A recent CNET story titled “70 percent of iPhone buyers won’t even consider another brand” shared a report from marketing platform Fluent that gives us a hint of what iPhones sales could be once the new iPhones get to market later this month. From the article:

“A survey published Friday offers a grim picture for the company’s rivals.
The research, performed earlier this month by marketing platform Fluent, asked 2,117 adult smartphone users about their phone feelings.
Feelings on the Apple side appear strong.

80 percent of iPhone owners said they planned to stay faithful. Another 47 percent stated that they’d owned at least four iPhones. It’s not clear whether these were four different iPhone models or whether the people kept buying the same model because it kept breaking.
Here is perhaps the most remarkable number: 70 percent of those who said their next phone would be another iPhone stated that they wouldn’t even consider another brand.

You might think this is a deep level of love. Indeed, 67 percent said they simply believed that the iPhone was the best phone one can buy.
Another clue, though, was offered by 41 percent of these loyalists. They admitted that they’re so used to iOS that the idea of switching would just be too painful.”

This study aligns with much of our own research at Creative Strategies around smartphone brand and mobile OS retention rates. In every major market like US, much of Europe, and China, Apple enjoys the highest retention rates of any brand. Digging into this further, Carolina Milanesi published some details of a recent iPhone 8 interest study we conducted of ~1000 US adults.

From our study, overall 26% of all US consumers surveyed said they are extremely likely or very likely to buy the upcoming iPhone 8. That number goes up sharply when just looking at iPhone owners, and even higher when just looking at iPhone owners intending to upgrade their smartphone in the next six months. Nearly all data points we see from our research and others are showing positive signs for Apple over the next year.

But what is important with this trend and one key reason most financial analysts keep moving Apple’s buy target up is that it could cause a new super cycle of sales, revenue and earnings records for Apple that could last at least another two-to-three years.

We saw the last super cycle when Apple introduced the iPhone 6 with its larger screen, and from that point, Apple’’s iPhones sales began to rise exponentially. With a new design and new features, along with a better camera on the high end that most likely will make AR Kit based apps work even better, these new iPhones could push the newest super cycle of sales and, if some estimates are right, could make them the first trillion dollar company we have seen in the world of business.

So next week’s introduction of a new iPhone is not just another upgrade event. This one has a lot riding on it and could drive sales of iPhones in new ways as AR Kit and IOS 11 is also expected to help boost sales of these phones and earlier models still for sale on the market today.

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Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

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