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

post #1 of 53
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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.
post #2 of 53
So strange, all these success stories yet I thought Android was supposed to be killing the iPhone!
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post #3 of 53
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.
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post #4 of 53
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.
post #5 of 53
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...
post #6 of 53
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.
post #7 of 53
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.
post #8 of 53
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.
post #9 of 53
Apple, time to make that 3GS available on every US carrier. Do it for the kids...

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post #10 of 53
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.
post #11 of 53
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.
post #12 of 53
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.
post #13 of 53
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.
post #14 of 53
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.
post #15 of 53
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.
post #16 of 53
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.
post #17 of 53
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.
post #18 of 53
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?
post #19 of 53
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!
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post #20 of 53
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.
post #21 of 53
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.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

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.

Postpone getting the smartphone by two or three months, and with the money saved on the contract you can get a much better model.

I guess those people also ate their marshmallow when they were 5 years old

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanfor...low_experiment
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by airnerd View Post

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.

I'm not sure if people are disagreeing with you or not but your communication could be more clear. These devices have specific names so using two references and using quotes to define them isn't' necessary.

From what I can gather you think the 5th gen. iPhone will be the flagship model, the iPhone 4 will be the mid-tier model, and the iPhone 3GS will be the bottom-tier model. That certainly makes sense even if economics of scale make it more cost effective to use the A4 chip over the current Cortex-A8 in the bottom-tier design. Its plastic and LowDPI display still make it comparatively inexpensive.
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post #24 of 53
So, not only is the iPhone 4 the #1 phone in America, but the iPhone 3GS, which is more than two years old now, holds the #2 spot and is beating the crap out of every single other phone on the market, bar none.

If I were an annoying little Android twerp, I'd frantically and desperately try to change the subject in order to deny reality, and I'd make my delusional mind feel slightly better by saying that all Android phones, all added up together into one lovely, fractured mess, and made by every phone manufacturer on the planet that is not Apple, does indeed sell more than Apple phones do.

People who buy iPhones are people who know quality when they see it, and they aren't afraid to pay to have the best.

People who buy Android phones do not mind having an inferior OS. A few of these people are simply Apple haters. They belong to the anything but Apple crowd. Besides a few angry, clueless, not very technically minded geeks on a few forums, this crowd is tiny and irrelevant. Many people who buy Android phones are simply people who are economically disadvantaged and lesser educated. A recent survey backs up my assertions.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not sure if people are disagreeing with you or not but your communication could be more clear. These devices have specific names so using two references and using quotes to define them isn't' necessary.

From what I can gather you think the 5th gen. iPhone will be the flagship model, the iPhone 4 will be the mid-tier model, and the iPhone 3GS will be the bottom-tier model. That certainly makes sense even if economics of scale make it more cost effective to use the A4 chip over the current Cortex-A8 in the bottom-tier design. Its plastic and LowDPI display still make it comparatively inexpensive.

So what is the name of the new low end iPhone 4 that this article talks about and I quoted in my original post? That is the one I am talking about and short of calling it "iphone 4 lite" I don't know what to call it.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Postpone getting the smartphone by two or three months, and with the money saved on the contract you can get a much better model.

I guess those people also ate their marshmallow when they were 5 years old

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanfor...low_experiment

I don't disagree with you - that's what I used to do, but......

If you're running your budget tight, maybe you only have $10 to spare every month, so they might have saved $50, but getting to $200+ would take a long time. I'm making the assumption that most people already have a phone contract, so that's a monthly cost they are already dealing with.

I know it seems kind of absurd - it's hard for me to imagine people having so little spare per month, but I'm one of the lucky ones. There are people in the current economy who scrape everything together to make rent. It's an easy argument that if they are in that dire financial straits they shouldn't be buying mobile phones, but again, if someone does run their budget tight, but can scrape $50 together, I can see the 3GS as being a really good option.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

...
People who buy Android phones do not mind having an inferior OS...

I think you are entirely wrong. I am sure that people who buy Android would be happy to have a better Android. They may know very well that iOS is more stable (likely) or has more features (less likely), but that doesn't help because they prefer Google's ecosystem.

On the contrary, people buying 3GS know there is a better option of what they want yet they still go for the inferior one just to save a few bucks.

Or you would perhaps say that one man is stupid for choosing a homelier girl when there are so many good looking beaus around.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I'm making the assumption that most people already have a phone contract, so that's a monthly cost they are already dealing with...

Just cancel the contract if you're strapped for cash. No one really NEEDS a personal data plan.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

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

LOL. I still wouldn't buy a 3GS for my kids though. As the article mentioned the cost is not too different for an iPhone 4. It's that damn data plan. Kids don't need that.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Just cancel the contract if you're strapped for cash. No one really NEEDS a personal data plan.

No, that's true, but at the same time, I'm not going to tell someone what they can and can't spend their money on.

The only point I was trying to make is, just because money is no object for you, doesn't mean others aren't in a different position.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Apple

[;1926608'
If I were an annoying little Android twerp, I'd frantically and desperately try to change the subject in order to deny reality, and I'd make my delusional mind feel slightly better by saying that all Android phones, all added up together into one lovely, fractured mess, and made by every phone manufacturer on the planet that is not Apple, does indeed sell more than Apple phones do.


But if you were an average user of an Android phone, you wouldn't care one way or the the other about iPhone sales volumes.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

People who buy Android phones do not mind having an inferior OS. A few of these people are simply Apple haters. They belong to the anything but Apple crowd. Besides a few angry, clueless, not very technically minded geeks on a few forums, this crowd is tiny and irrelevant. Many people who buy Android phones are simply people who are economically disadvantaged and lesser educated. A recent survey backs up my assertions.

Which recent survey would that be? Link?
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post #33 of 53
I bought a second hand 3GS from my suite-mate for about $75, replacing my 3G. I've had no desire to update until recently, when I got a small crack in the screen, and the connector is bent (doesn't want to charge 1/2 the time). Otherwise it's a great phone, and I'm not surprised at its' continued use.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. HTC Inspire 4G
  5. Samsung INTENSITYII <== You gotta check this out!

I think the Intensity is the pre-paid phone that one, or maybe two of the low-cost carriers'are offering? That would be a big vote for Apple getting in the pre-pay market!
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post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Which recent survey would that be? Link?

I'm not claiming that this is scientifically accurate or anything like that. Many of the questions are silly and it's probably mostly for entertainment purposes, but they did survey 15,818 Hunch users and they crossed those responses with answers from dozens of other "Teach Hunch about you" questions, totaling 80+ million responses. Many other surveys, such as political surveys, which are conducted by major news organizations survey far less people.

For example, an Android user is 80% more likely to have only a high school diploma.

post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

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

I believe last quarter there were more Android devices activated than iOS devices.

There should be a big jump when the iPhone5 comes along and next year when we get the iPad3. Christmas will be an interesting quarter to se the figures for.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

For example, an Android user is 80% more likely to have only a high school diploma.

I wonder if this is because there are a lot more students with Android phones so they are still working on higher qualifications.

Those facts make Apple users look old and even boring. Is Apple losing young people and their cool image?
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I'm not claiming that this is scientifically accurate or anything like that. Many of the questions are silly and it's probably mostly for entertainment purposes, but they did survey 15,818 Hunch users and they crossed those responses with answers from dozens of other "Teach Hunch about you" questions, totaling 80+ million responses. Many other surveys, such as political surveys, which are conducted by major news organizations survey far less people.

For example, an Android user is 80% more likely to have only a high school diploma.

Ah, the knuckle-draggers vs. educated elite survey!

Since you had the wisdom to realize it was tongue-in-cheek for the most part you must be an Apple owner.
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post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Just cancel the contract if you're strapped for cash. No one really NEEDS a personal data plan.

Please be careful throwing around expressions like "no one really needs". People's circumstances are different, and it's impossible to anticipate everyone's.

My brother for example does NEED a personal data plan on his phone because he travels and needs access to email for his job, and by using his phone as a modem he has been able to get rid of his home internet connection, actually saving him money overall.
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post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. HTC Inspire 4G
  5. Samsung INTENSITYII <== You gotta check this out!

BTW, do you have the link to this Solipsism? I'm assuming it's the NPD Group results.
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