Apple's 2 year old iPhone 3GS America's second popular smartphone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple isn't just holding onto the top spot among US smartphones with last year's iPhone 4. It's also occupying the second most popular slot with its budget priced iPhone 3GS, which is only available in the country on one carrier.



A report by NPD Group trumpeted the broad use of Android across 52 percent of phones sold to consumers in the US in the second quarter of 2011, noting only a slight quarterly gain by Apple to claim a 29 percent share.



Buried deeper in the data is the fact that Apple is holding its position and then some using two models at the end of their lifespan. The most popular US phone is Apple's relatively expensive iPhone 4 which was released over a year ago.



The two year old iPhone 3GS held onto the second spot in popularity thanks to its low price, which AT&T has used to compete against Verizon after its rival gained access to the iPhone 4 this spring. Initially $99, the model has been offered for $49, with occasional promotions that make the phone free with a contract.







Google has promoted its Android platform as having the potential to drive down the cost of hardware to attract low end buyers, but Apple's ability to sell older versions of its flagship iPhone at a discount has so far beaten Android at its own game.



Apple is expected to release a new iPhone 5 model around the end of September or early October, and is anticipated to similarly offer a lower end version of iPhone 4 as its budget-priced model.



In reviewing iPhone 4, AppleInsider recommended against opting for the much slower and older iPhone 3GS, which is much closer in price to iPhone 4 when the value of the carrier's subsidy is figured into its total cost.

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Comments

  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,310member
    So strange, all these success stories yet I thought Android was supposed to be killing the iPhone!
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,646member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    . . . Buried deeper in the data is the fact that Apple is holding its position and then some using two models at the end of their lifespan. The most popular US phone is Apple's relatively expensive iPhone 4 which was released over a year ago.



    The two year old iPhone 3GS held onto the second spot in popularity thanks to its low price, which AT&T has used to compete against Verizon after its rival gained access to the iPhone 4 this spring. Initially $99, the model has been offered for $49, with occasional promotions that make the phone free with a contract.



    Since this isn't mentioned in the report linked in the original article, there must be an additional link that failed to be included? I don't at all disagree with the post, especially considering any of the top selling Android phones are probably also only available at a single carrier, normally Verizon in the US. It would be interesting to see which phones besides the iPhone made it to NPD's top 5.



    In any case congrats to Apple's 4G for reportedly remaining the top-selling smartphone in the US even tho it's over a year old now.
  • thomas gillingthomas gilling Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    So strange, all these success stories yet I thought Android was supposed to be killing the iPhone!



    Oooh were Google and we can shove our Android on loads of stuff. But really were not that big of a market player because most of our so called platform could be replaced with any dude with an obscure version of Linux to sell. Oh err by the way would you like to buy a Motorola Droid? Just asking, seeing as Motorola Mobility is doing so well right now.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quite shocking, really. The total cost of ownership for the 3GS over two years is hardly much lower that the one for iPhone 4, and spreading the difference over such a long period would make it barely noticeable. In contrast, the difference in everyday use must be quite tangible...
  • airnerdairnerd Posts: 222member
    I still don't get why Apple needs to offer a "lower end version of the iPhone 4", or at least is rumored to do so. Wouldn't just the original iPhone 4 do this? Are they expecting to sell the lessened version of the 4, the new 5, and the original 4? What is the market for the middle 4 in that case? The people looking for the best and brightest go for the 5, the economical market goes for the watered down 4, and who is left for the original 4?



    I can't imagine that with the 2 year contract the 5 is going to be more than $399, so does that mean they go with the watered down 4 at $99, the original 4 at $199, and the 5 at $399? The only thing I could think is the basic 4 is $99 with contract, the original 4 is $299 unlocked and no contract, and the 5 is $299-$399 with 2 year contract for us on the US side of the pond.
  • applelover2applelover2 Posts: 293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    So strange, all these success stories yet I thought Android was supposed to be killing the iPhone!



    Android needs to be compared to iOS, which is software, and not the iPhones, which are hardware.



    You are correct that Android outsells iOS on phones, but it is also true that the iPhone hardware is more popular than any specific phone running Android.



    Apples and oranges.
  • airnerdairnerd Posts: 222member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Quite shocking, really. The total cost of ownership for the 3GS over two years is hardly much lower that the one for iPhone 4, and spreading the difference over such a long period would make it barely noticeable. In contrast, the difference in everyday use must be quite tangible...



    I have always wondered that too. All I can think is the 3GS is good for a kid who doesn't need the faster speeds, just wants the iPhone and texting. Not worth it for a parent to drop $200-$300 for the kid when he/she is likely to break or lose it anyways.
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 24,457member
    Apple, time to make that 3GS available on every US carrier. Do it for the kids...
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    I have always wondered that too. All I can think is the 3GS is good for a kid who doesn't need the faster speeds, just wants the iPhone and texting. Not worth it for a parent to drop $200-$300 for the kid when he/she is likely to break or lose it anyways.



    That could be it, yeah.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Apple, time to make that 3GS available on every US carrier. Do it for the kids...



    How could that happen? The 3GS isn't compatible with Verizon.
  • sailorpaulsailorpaul Posts: 261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Apple, time to make that 3GS available on every US carrier. Do it for the kids...



    Yep. The 3GS makes a great kid phone just because of the breakage, Uno, dos, tres, quatro cinco.... Made the family decision much easier.*



    * Parental units not bound to that concept.
  • davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    I still don't get why Apple needs to offer a "lower end version of the iPhone 4", or at least is rumored to do so. Wouldn't just the original iPhone 4 do this?



    The current 3GS "low end" iPhone is a lower spec model than the 3GS as it was when it was the "high end" iPhone when it was released...



    The current 3GS only has 8Gb storage - the 3GS was previously only available with 16 or 32Gb when it was first introduced which makes the 8Gb 3GS a distinct "new" model that was first released at the same time as the iPhone 4...



    I can only assume that a similar spec reduction will be in the pipeline for the "low end" iPhone 4 that will undoubtedly accompany the iPhone 5.



    As for the reason behind the spec reduction I can only assume it is to make the "high end" model more appealing to try and get people to stretch to the extra cost while still offering a perfectly decent phone for those who really can't.
  • airnerdairnerd Posts: 222member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post


    The current 3GS "low end" iPhone is a lower spec model than the 3GS as it was when it was the "high end" iPhone when it was released...



    The current 3GS only has 8Gb storage - the 3GS was previously only available with 16 or 32Gb when it was first introduced which makes the 8Gb 3GS a distinct "new" model that was first released at the same time as the iPhone 4...



    I can only assume that a similar spec reduction will be in the pipeline for the "low end" iPhone 4 that will undoubtedly accompany the iPhone 5.



    As for the reason behind the spec reduction I can only assume it is to make the "high end" model more appealing to try and get people to stretch to the extra cost while still offering a perfectly decent phone for those who really can't.







    That makes sense, but then I guess they are going to phase out the 3GS? That is the truest "low cost" iPhone.
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Quite shocking, really. The total cost of ownership for the 3GS over two years is hardly much lower that the one for iPhone 4, and spreading the difference over such a long period would make it barely noticeable. In contrast, the difference in everyday use must be quite tangible...



    People are not that smart on average and they don't generally act rationally either.



    These kind of deals always work to increase sales and are done across multiple industries. It's the same thing as the idea of giving you the first few months free or at a reduced price when you are talking about some kind of service or buying furniture with nothing down and no payments for a year, or car leases that work the same way.



    They are all colossally *bad* deals, but people grab them like so much candy. Sadly not many people sit down and rationally try to figure out what the best deal is or why they are being offered what seems like such a great deal.



    The 3Gs is likely to be discontinued very soon. Certainly long before the contract on these offers will be up. But I bet there are people at this minute rushing to a store to get one. It's like fish rushing to put a hook through their cheek.
  • f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 223member
    My brother and his wife just came into the iPhone fold with a pair of 3GSs. They couldn't justify the $200 each for the 4, but $100 for 2 iPhones suited them perfectly. The only feature of the 4 they have mentioned missing on their phones is FaceTime, but that wasn't worth the extra $150 per unit to them.
  • davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    That makes sense, but then I guess they are going to phase out the 3GS? That is the truest "low cost" iPhone.



    I would guess so....



    when the 3G came out the original iPhone became the low end model

    when the 3gs came out the 3g became the low end model

    when the iPhone 4 came out the 3gs became the low end model



    I'm spotting a pattern that I can't see any reason for Apple not to continue with where a (cut down?) version of the previous model is released as the "low end" option alongside the new version.
  • paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,374member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    I still don't get why Apple needs to offer a "lower end version of the iPhone 4", or at least is rumored to do so. Wouldn't just the original iPhone 4 do this? Are they expecting to sell the lessened version of the 4, the new 5, and the original 4? What is the market for the middle 4 in that case? The people looking for the best and brightest go for the 5, the economical market goes for the watered down 4, and who is left for the original 4?



    Apple have in practice got a nice little product line up now. The current version is premium, the one that's a year or so old is their entry level.



    Given whenever Apple release a product they seem to be a year ahead of everyone else, it makes for a pretty easy product lineup.
  • airnerdairnerd Posts: 222member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post


    I would guess so....



    when the 3G came out the original iPhone became the low end model

    when the 3gs came out the 3g became the low end model

    when the iPhone 4 came out the 3gs became the low end model



    I'm spotting a pattern that I can't see any reason for Apple not to continue with where a (cut down?) version of the previous model is released as the "low end" option alongside the new version.



    Exactly, and under that pattern the 4 would become the low end model. Except the rumor is that the 4 would become a "middle" model and a whole new "low end" model would come out. That middle model is the confusing part to me. Why not let the "old 4" become the low end model?
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    It would be interesting to see which phones besides the iPhone made it to NPD's top 5.

    1. Apple iPhone 4

    2. Apple iPhone 3GS

    3. HTC EVO 4G

    4. HTC Inspire 4G

    5. Samsung INTENSITYII <== You gotta check this out!

  • airnerdairnerd Posts: 222member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Apple have in practice got a nice little product line up now. The current version is premium, the one that's a year or so old is their entry level.



    Given whenever Apple release a product they seem to be a year ahead of everyone else, it makes for a pretty easy product lineup.



    Yes, except the lineup will now be the one year old is the middle and a brand new one will be the low end.



    Everyone is disagreeing with me, but writing exactly what is puzzling me. Why not let the current or "one year old" model be the low end of the "new" spectrum and the newest is the top of the line. The 3GS is still the bargain or entry level.
  • paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,374member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Quite shocking, really. The total cost of ownership for the 3GS over two years is hardly much lower that the one for iPhone 4, and spreading the difference over such a long period would make it barely noticeable. In contrast, the difference in everyday use must be quite tangible...



    I think the thing is, a lot of people run their monthly budgets pretty tight and a mobile phone contract is probably already baked into that. Just because they have already planned for the monthly outlay doesn't necessarily mean an extra $150 isn't a big deal to them.



    Just because you or I can afford an extra $150 whenever we want something, doesn't mean it's not a big deal to someone else.
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