The Myth of an iPhone Killer [Updated with added chart]

The resiliency of the iPhone in not just the US but global markets as well is truly a marvel. As we will see in some of the charts below, against all odds Apple’s iPhone market share remains steady.

I’ve long argued that vendors in the Android ecosystem compete more with each other than with Apple. One can take a perspective that says a consumer who buys an Android phone is a lost customer to Apple, at least for the time being. In the case of the ultra low-end and cheap phone market, those customers are likely simply not Apple’s target. They may be when they are ready, if they ever get so far as to value the things Apple creates. In the case of the premium market for devices like the S4, HTC One, etc., we notice that these devices seem to take share from each other more than Apple–especially in the US.

I don’t think many realize how dominant the iPhone is in the US among premium handset market share. Getting these specific statistics (iPhone 4s, 5) share of premium sales is tough but from inside sources I’m told that by quarter the iPhone US share of premium can go between 60-75%. The key take away is that the iPhone is the dominant sales device in the premium segment of the handset market.

Even knowing that, myself and many would agree that looking at usage of the devices is the key metric. People can buy lower end and even premium Android devices all they want but if they are not being used as smartphones, or creating value to the carrier, then we wonder if we should even count them.

Below is a look at the share of platform usage in the US.

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 8.35.52 AM

As you can see, even when new premium Android devices are launched in the US there appears to be no significant impact to the iPhone. Perhaps even more interestingly is the dip in iOS usage share during the “droid franchise” peak. Then as we can see when the iPhone came to Verizon it gained share back. The key losers over this time period was clearly RIM.

Now if we turn our eyes to the global vendor market share, we see similar patterns. For obvious reasons, the iPhones share of the global smartphone install base is much lower than the US but what we see is that its piece of the pie stays relatively the same size.

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 8.28.05 AM

Notice for example that Android’s gains are not making the iPhone’s share of the pie look like RIM’s, Bada’s, or Symbians. Meaning declining. Android is gaining, yes, but the iPhones share is not decreasing like the others.

Now to look at what the opportunity looks like going forward I want to show a much bigger global handset vendor picture.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 8.54.26 PM

When looking at this image there are several things to note. First is that the iPhone’s share again remains relatively constant. It is not shrinking dramatically like other vendors but keeps its slice of the pie relatively static. However, look at the global rise of “others” in this chart. These are largely white box label vendors flying off the shelves in China. The size of the “others” pie is even larger in China than local brands like Huawei and ZTE. Others is the real growth opporunity as we see customers refine their interests and look to go with more established brands than white box makers.

I can show charts all day of global vendor sales and in no chart will you see iPhone’s share of the pie shrink rather you see it maintain. Obviously, what we will watch going forward is for the share of the pie to grow, likely at the expense of “others” to begin with. The point to take away in all of this is simply that there is no such thing as an iPhone killer, even though many assume there is.

Published by

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

176 thoughts on “The Myth of an iPhone Killer [Updated with added chart]”

  1. Nice charts.

    iOS is self-sustaining. I hope to write an article next week on “the long tail” in order to show why iOS will REMAIN self-sustaining for a long while to come.

  2. The two last charts seem quite similar to me. There’s no mention of “others” in the last chart. Copy/paste error?

  3. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I in finding this
    topic to be actually one thing which I believe I would by no means understand.

    It sort of feels too complex and extremely broad for me. I am
    having a look ahead to your subsequent submit, I will attempt to
    get the hang of it!

  4. Great goods from you, man. I’ve be aware your stuff previous to and
    you’re just too wonderful. I really like what you’ve obtained
    here, really like what you’re saying and the way by which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it sensible.

    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a terrific website.

  5. Right here is the perfect webpage for everyone who really wants to find out
    about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not
    that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for
    years. Great stuff, just great!

  6. Right here is the perfect web site for anybody who wishes to understand this topic.

    You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that
    I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for ages.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  7. Hi there, I found your web site by the use
    of Google whilst looking for a related matter, your web site came up, it appears to be like great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, just was aware of your weblog thru Google, and found that it is truly
    informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate when you proceed this in future.
    Many folks will probably be benefited out of your writing.

  8. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your
    feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  9. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as
    long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the very same area of interest
    as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of
    the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with
    you. Many thanks!

  10. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert
    on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  11. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that will make the biggest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  12. What’s up all, here every one is sharing these kinds of know-how, therefore it’s
    fastidious to read this website, and I used to pay a quick visit
    this blog everyday.

  13. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before
    but after reading through some of the post I realized
    it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking
    back frequently!

  14. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Lots
    of people will be benefited from your writing.

  15. Everything is very open with a really clear
    description of the issues. It was definitely informative.
    Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your
    situation; we have developed some nice practices and
    we are looking to trade solutions with others, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  17. Great work! That is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the web.
    Shame on Google for no longer positioning this publish upper!

    Come on over and discuss with my website . Thank you =)

  18. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for
    the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I
    could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read more things about it!

  19. whoah this blog is great i really like reading your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, many persons are searching round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  20. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. That is a very neatly
    written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly comeback.

  21. I think this is among the most vital info for me. And i am
    glad reading your article. But should remark on few
    general things, The site style is wonderful, the
    articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  22. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my
    4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her
    ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but
    I had to tell someone!

  23. I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.
    I’ve got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…

  24. Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers
    and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  25. You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I
    to find this topic to be really one thing that I believe I might by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I am looking forward to your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt
    to get the hang of it!

  26. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together.

    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  27. You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue
    and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  28. Hello! I’ve been following your website for a long time now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney
    Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

  29. When someone writes an article he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her mind that how
    a user can understand it. So that’s why this post is amazing.


  30. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this fantastic blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this
    website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  31. I have learn some just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking
    for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you put to make this sort of excellent informative site.

  32. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep
    updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  33. If some one wants expert view about running a blog then i propose him/her to pay a quick visit
    this web site, Keep up the pleasant job.

  34. Good way of telling, and nice post to take information regarding my presentation topic, which i
    am going to convey in college.

  35. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However
    I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody getting identical RSS problems?

    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?


  36. Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  37. I really like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you guys to my blogroll.

  38. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will definitely return.

  39. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple
    ipad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a
    youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with

  40. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  41. For most up-to-date information you have to
    pay a visit world-wide-web and on web I found this web page as a most excellent site for most up-to-date updates.

  42. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find
    things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to
    use some of your ideas!!

  43. I like the valuable information you provide on your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and test again here frequently. I’m somewhat sure I’ll be informed
    many new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the next!

  44. It’s very simple to find out any topic on web
    as compared to textbooks, as I found this paragraph at this

  45. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  46. I like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I will bookmark
    your blog and check once more here frequently.
    I am reasonably sure I will be told many new stuff
    proper right here! Good luck for the next!

  47. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found
    a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She
    never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

  48. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Many thanks

  49. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a
    great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back someday.

    I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

  50. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she retains the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is perfect.

  51. I seriously love your site.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself? Please reply
    back as I’m wanting to create my own website and want to learn where
    you got this from or what the theme is called.

  52. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  53. You’re so cool! I do not believe I’ve read through something like this
    before. So good to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this subject.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *