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As iPhone 4S sets records, Apple's legacy models show strong sales too

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
With the soon-to-be-launched iPhone 4S gaining the most attention, Apple's previous-generation iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS handsets are quietly racking up big sales after recent price drops.

When Apple announced the iPhone 4S last week, the company also revealed it would sell a new 8GB version of the iPhone 4 for $99, while the iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, would be free with a two-year contract. In addition, both AT&T and Verizon lowered the prices of their 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4 models to $150 and $200, respectively.

Analyst T. Michael Walkley with Canaccord Genuity recently conducted a series of checks with U.S. carriers to gauge iPhone sales leading up to this Friday's launch of the iPhone 4S. He found that customers continue to embrace the iPhone 4 and two-year-old iPhone 3GS, even as a new model is set to debut.

His checks also indicated that preorders have been strong for the iPhone 4S, a fact verified by Apple on Monday, when it revealed that 1 million preorders were taken in the first 24 hours of availability. That handily topped the previous single-day preorder record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4 when it launched in 2010.

The findings by Walkley are consistent with his past findings that previous-generation Apple iOS devices often outsell newer Android products. For example, in May he reported that the iPhone 3GS was outselling newer phones like the HTC Inspire and Motorola Atrix at AT&T stores.



The continued success of the iPhone 3GS, which is only available on AT&T in the U.S., was also tracked by the NPD Group in August, which found that the device was the second most popular smartphone in the U.S. Rather than discontinue the iPhone 3GS this year, Apple opted to keep the legacy device around and offer it for free with a carrier subsidy.

And even as rumors continued to build in the lead-up to Apple's iPhone 4S event, the iPhone 4 remained the top-selling smartphone in the U.S., despite being more than a year old. Apple's iPhone 4 held the top spot at both AT&T and Verizon, outselling the Samsung Infuse 4G, Samsung Charge 4G, and HTC Thunderbolt 4G.
post #2 of 81
This persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of Apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss Apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have I become so out of touch with reality and what must I do to understand real-world consumers?"

My guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled IT workers and aging PC DIYers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.
post #3 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of Apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss Apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have I become so out of touch with reality and what must I do to understand real-world consumers?"

My guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled IT workers and aging PC DIYers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.

Absolutely spot on!

I do think the news that went under the radar at the keynote last week was that you can now get an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4 at incredibly reasonable prices. I know an awful lot of young people who want macs and want iPhones but can't afford them because they're too young. They won't always be. When they enter work, it's macs they'll buy. I think Apple have tremendous growth to come from young people lusting after their products after school in Apple stores entering work and having newfound disposable income. Where I live, the security guards have to let school kids in on a one-in-one-out basis! They spend ages on Photo Booth lol. Just check the Photo Booth pictures on a mac in a store and you'll see what I mean!

Having an iPhone 3GS that is free on contract makes it affordable to people to whom it was not affordable a month ago.

It's not all about the shiny new model sometimes, tech world.
post #4 of 81
Both of my daughters are getting an iPhone 4 for Christmas. Both are using original iPhones. It's the perfect balance of a great phone with all the features they want as well as at the right price.

What amazes me now is how I keep hearing about how Apple needs to have more models and yet they don't get that Apple have introduced precisely that with their "legacy" phones being more than capable of being exactly those models.

Apple gave them more models by the back door but were too dumb to realise it.
post #5 of 81
My mom isn't big on the latest and greatest devices. She wants an iPhone, but doesn't really have the money to drop $200+ on a phone. Now that the 3GS is free, she's strongly considering grabbing one. The 3GS isn't a bad device - it takes DECENT video and pretty good photos. It's better than her current WinMo phone (Samsung Propel)
post #6 of 81
the fact the 3GS is free will be a HUGE factor for most people.
the average consumer will understand that the new iPhones are "better" but will not care.

most people would rather have the "free" device than drop $100 or $200 for something that is only better to the power user.....
post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of Apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss Apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have I become so out of touch with reality and what must I do to understand real-world consumers?"

My guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled IT workers and aging PC DIYers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.

I would say this is dead on, but you forgot to mention that they become AI trolls and hang out in the forums telling everyone "this is it, this is Apples misstep, it is all down hill from here! This time for sure...."
OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastdoor View Post

this persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have i become so out of touch with reality and what must i do to understand real-world consumers?"

my guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled it workers and aging pc diyers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.

+ 101
post #9 of 81
Hello just want to ask if its more practical now to get the lower capacity iPhones like the new 8 gig model because we now have the iCloud where we can store and retrieve our apps, docs, photos, itunes etc.? Thank you.
post #10 of 81
ExtremeTech has a good post (here) about the iPhone 4S being a "safe bet" that Apple can sell tons of until it has the technological edge to release a "truly exceptional" iPhone 5.

I won't try to re-hash the article here, but it's probably the most rational analysis of the 4S vs over-expectations that I've seen.
post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

My mom isn't big on the latest and greatest devices. She wants an iPhone, but doesn't really have the money to drop $200+ on a phone.

She can drop $1,000 per year on a Verizon/AT&T contract but can't afford the $200+ deposit on the phone?
post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

His checks also indicated that preorders have been strong for the iPhone 4S, a fact verified by Apple on Monday, when it revealed that 1 million preorders were taken in the first 24 hours of availability. That handily topped the previous single-day preorder record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4 when it launched in 2010..

Where are all the Apple-hating trolls who said that this was such a 'meh' upgrade and that no one would go for it?
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

My mom isn't big on the latest and greatest devices. She wants an iPhone, but doesn't really have the money to drop $200+ on a phone. Now that the 3GS is free, she's strongly considering grabbing one. The 3GS isn't a bad device - it takes DECENT video and pretty good photos. It's better than her current WinMo phone (Samsung Propel)

Would be helpful knowing what iPhone features appeal to your Mom and which you think she'll grasp and how fast. Does she run iTunes? Is she Mac or MS? Does she AppleTV? Has she ever used a touch-only display?

I bought my parents iPhone 1Gs way back when and didn't upgrade them until the 3GS because they were still integrating what iOS had into how they lived. They are on iPhone 4 now and in catch up mode again. Understanding slow start on the tech and not wasting money on features and speed that won't be used will help. Also, the more complex the device, the more features you try to teach and they try to use/migrate, the harder your life will be supporting Mom. All of us here are probably Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 support for our families.
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

She can drop $1,000 per year on a Verizon/AT&T contract but can't afford the $200+ deposit on the phone?

You are assuming that she has the top of the line phone plan and that she doesn't already have minutes built up.
post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

She can drop $1,000 per year on a Verizon/AT&T contract but can't afford the $200+ deposit on the phone?

Life with a fixed income. A concept those of us on a salary tend to forget.
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by idol78 View Post

Hello just want to ask if its more practical now to get the lower capacity iPhones like the new 8 gig model because we now have the iCloud where we can store and retrieve our apps, docs, photos, itunes etc.? Thank you.

It's more practical if you spend most of your time in wifi zones, definitely.
post #17 of 81
This is slightly off topic, but the iPhone 4S strong sales gives me confidence in the Wii U....
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by linkgx1 View Post

This is slightly off topic, but the iPhone 4S strong sales gives me confidence in the Wii U....

And the 3GS remaining the second-best-selling phone on the planet nearly two and a half years after its launch (and with a 600MHz processor, no less, up against the Crapdragon 1.5GHz ones) didn't give you that confidence already?

OH. Oh, know what would make the WiiU sell even better? It's already backwards-compatible with Wii games… but what if they let it play back old Wii titles in 1080p, just like the new ones? MILLIONS of sales, even if not a single person buys a WiiU-specific game.

I'd buy one, that's for sure. I don't plan to now, as I'm not that big on games anymore, but I have a Wii and would love to make it just a backup and enjoy my current titles in 1080p on a WiiU.

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Where are all the Apple-hating trolls who said that this was such a 'meh' upgrade and that no one would go for it?

Everybody used to say that nobody would buy it. But now everybody is buying it, and nobody is saying it.
post #20 of 81
I see... Thanks man
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Everybody used to say that nobody would buy it. But now everybody is buying it, and nobody is saying it.

And if anybody has anything to say, I'll give them a slappin' (in the painful, but not sexual way).
post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

She can drop $1,000 per year on a Verizon/AT&T contract but can't afford the $200+ deposit on the phone?

While this may surprise some pundits, the fact is that many household budgets already factor in the cost of the service. Any cost for the phone is additional money, and so the difference between $0 and $200 is significant.

Its not like if they don't get the iPhone they won't be keeping a cell phone at all.

It's the marginal cost that matters. The marginal cost is either $0-$300, or if the alternative was to not get a smartphone at all, the marginal cost is $360 (cost of w year data plan at $15/mo) to $660. All of which are significant numbers.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

You are assuming that she has the top of the line phone plan and that she doesn't already have minutes built up.

No, the BOTTOM of the line plan with an iPhone is more than $1,000 per year.
post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

No, the BOTTOM of the line plan with an iPhone is more than $1,000 per year.

Hmmm, I just noticed that AT&T has a Senior plan for $29.99. 200 mins, 500 nights/weekends, unlimited in-network. It's $10 a month but for those already watching rollover minutes roll off, it might be a good plan. $120 a year buys 24 beverages at SBUX.

But yeah, $1K easily after taxes. Can probably squeak it down a bit if they don't txt or sms a lot and go pay by use.
post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Life with a fixed income. A concept those of us on a salary tend to forget.

Persons on salary are "fixed income", too. I don't get paid extra for working additional hours each week; my income is fixed until I get my (hopefully) annual salary increase.
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And the 3GS remaining the second-best-selling phone on the planet nearly two and a half years after its launch (and with a 600MHz processor, no less, up against the Crapdragon 1.5GHz ones) didn't give you that confidence already?

Get the feeling that analysts are caught up in specs like MHz and RAM and size (vs resolution)? Most people don't need an Alienware in their pocket. I don't say all because I don't know everyone yet.
post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

She can drop $1,000 per year on a Verizon/AT&T contract but can't afford the $200+ deposit on the phone?

You don't get the 3GS on verizon do you?
post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by itslow View Post

Persons on salary are "fixed income", too. I don't get paid extra for working additional hours each week; my income is fixed until I get my annual salary increase to keep pace with inflation.

Unless you own a company.....or are on wall street....you have a fixed income!
post #29 of 81
I notice that Apple is now selling the old models unlocked in the U.S. I don't recall them selling the 3GS unlocked in the past (though maybe I just never looked).

The 3GS is going for US$375 and the 4 is $549. Both come with just 8 GB.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by itslow View Post

Persons on salary are "fixed income", too. I don't get paid extra for working additional hours each week; my income is fixed until I get my annual salary increase to keep pace with inflation.

Seriously? We are blurring this definition too? Specious.
post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

You are assuming that she has the top of the line phone plan and that she doesn't already have minutes built up.

What iPhone plan is cheaper than that, regardless of minutes built up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Life with a fixed income. A concept those of us on a salary tend to forget.

How does someone with a fixed income afford over a hundred bucks a month for their phone bill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Having an iPhone 3GS that is free on contract makes it affordable to people to whom it was not affordable a month ago.

Except they still aren't remotely affordable once you're paying for the two year contract, it's well over $2k once you consider the total cost of the phone. Over 24 months that $99 or $199 is only an extra 4 or 8 bucks a month, which is nothing compared to a monthly bill over $100. But I guess a lot of people don't bother to do the math.

It's great that there are new $99 and "free" options but what will really bring prices down in the US is availability on all carriers (both contract and unlocked) with the same model. Hopefully as the US moves to the next generation of phone networks we'll see that compatibility.

I'd love to finally get an iPhone but the cost of the phone isn't a factor at all compared to the crazy monthly costs. Since this last release I've been looking at no contract plans like the one from Virgin Mobile with unlimited data and text starting at $35 monthly with a basic android phone. Anyone using their service, or have a recommendation for a reasonably priced basic android phone (voice/text/basic web)?
post #32 of 81
Also all 3 generations of phones can run IOS5. 3 generations of phones have received an update giving several old dogs new tricks.
post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of Apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss Apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have I become so out of touch with reality and what must I do to understand real-world consumers?"

My guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled IT workers and aging PC DIYers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.

I agree, but the thIng is that the tech writers have to be contrary and if there is no natural conflict they must make it up. How boring would it be if all journalists and commentators agreed? It is in their nature to point out that we are all wrong and that they have the solution. The more dominant the leader the more dissenting the voices. Besides, us ApPle folks love being the underdog, don't we? It's a much more fun to be.
post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeeh2 View Post

Also all 3 generations of phones can run IOS5. 3 generations of phones have received an update giving several old dogs new tricks.*

*Not all new tricks may be applicable to all old dogs. Some old dogs might be slower at new tricks than others. Inability of old dogs to perform new tricks is not the responsibility of the trick bearers. New tricks may make old dogs perform other, unanticipated actions. All nonstandard behavior by old dogs is handled at the owner's expense. All right reserved. Offer void in Utah.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This persistent disconnect between the reality of consumers' embrace of Apple products and the fantasy of certain tech pundits who consistently diss Apple's new products is really extraordinary. At what point are these guys going to finally look themselves in the mirror and ask "how have I become so out of touch with reality and what must I do to understand real-world consumers?"

My guess is that for many of them, that point will never come. They will just become increasingly bitter, focusing their efforts to appeal to a shrinking audience of disgruntled IT workers and aging PC DIYers who are also totally out of touch with reality. Losers.

This same disconnect occurred for Pixar movies. Just prior to each new release, the "experts" would remind us all that Pixar was bound to produce a dud, as the "law of reversion to mean" is unbreakable.

What they failed to consider was that the law of reversion to mean doesn't actually exist.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

How does someone with a fixed income afford over a hundred bucks a month for their phone bill?

Probably closer to $80 a month and it's part of the existing budget. With less discretionary capital it's easier on the budget to continue paying the same $80 vs coming up with ~$216 in addition to the $80. The allure of the subsidized phone.

Edit: To your point about the insane monthlies, I think your dead on. For non-smartphone users today that talk to me, I advise them to not go iPhone (generic for smartphone with automatic data plan) unless they are planning on becoming addicted to mobile data connectivity. The sticker price is just the beginning.
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Where are all the Apple-hating trolls who said that this was such a 'meh' upgrade and that no one would go for it?

Their contracts with Microsoft, Samsung, HTC, and whatever other competitor only stated they were to try to depress the initial wave of enthusiasm.

After the initial preorder, it doesn't matter and after the first ones hit the market, it'll be obvious how awesome it is. Everyone will want one after that.

post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Except they still aren't remotely affordable once you're paying for the two year contract, it's well over $2k once you consider the total cost of the phone. Over 24 months that $99 or $199 is only an extra 4 or 8 bucks a month, which is nothing compared to a monthly bill over $100. But I guess a lot of people don't bother to do the math.

This continues to baffle me. But then this same "don't bother to do the math" problem, applied to something much more expensive, resulted in the housing debacle, didn't it?
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I'd love to finally get an iPhone but the cost of the phone isn't a factor at all compared to the crazy monthly costs. Since this last release I've been looking at no contract plans like the one from Virgin Mobile with unlimited data and text starting at $35 monthly with a basic android phone. Anyone using their service, or have a recommendation for a reasonably priced basic android phone (voice/text/basic web)?

You're on an Apple rumor site. We're more likely to talk you into rearranging your finances to be able to afford the iPhone plan than let you go to the dark side.

post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

This continues to baffle me. But then this same "don't bother to do the math" problem, applied to something much more expensive, resulted in the housing debacle, didn't it?

Wait. what.
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