Apple tops worldwide smartphone vendor list in Q4 amid industry contraction, report says

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 1
Apple led the worldwide smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to fresh statistics from Strategy Analytics, with strong demand for products like iPhone X and iPhone 8 bucking wider market headwinds.




According to the research firm, Apple captured 19.3 percent of global smartphone shipments in quarter four, displacing market leader Samsung from its usual perch at the top. The South Korean tech giant managed an 18.6 percent share for the same period.

While Apple and Samsung gained marketshare in the last quarter of 2017 by a respective 1.5 percent and 0.9 percent year-over-year, the overall industry drooped 9 percent on a "collapse" in the Chinese market, Strategy Analytics said.

During quarter four, worldwide shipments fell to 400.2 million units, down from 438.7 million in 2016. The firm characterizes the precipitous decline as the "biggest annual fall in smartphone history." At fault are slower than normal sales in China, which saw longer replacement rates, fewer operator subsidies and a scarcity of "wow" handset options.

Apple earlier today reported record-breaking quarterly earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2018 with revenue of $88.3 billion. However, with 77.3 million units sold, iPhone saw its first annual decline for the holiday quarter since its launch in 2007.

The results mean Apple's iPhone sales mix trended toward premium priced models like its iPhone X flagship. Indeed, CEO Tim Cook in a conference call on Thursday said iPhone X was consistently Apple's top selling phone every week since it shipped in November.

It should also be noted that Apple's first fiscal quarter of 2016 was one week longer than its 2017 period.

Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.

"If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said.

Apple has long opted out of competing in the low-end market with the likes of most Android makers, instead concentrating on mid- and top-tier products. Concessions were made when the company began to carry over the previous year's model, and offer the smaller and cheaper iPhone SE, but those efforts fall short of designing and producing a dedicated budget handset.

The company is looking to grow in burgeoning markets like India, though such expansions are expected to be more of the same -- selling older handset models at more affordable prices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    Samsung is doing so well, maybe one day they’ll also be doomed.  /s
    lollivergregg thurmanchiachristopher126watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 73
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    lolliverd_2chiachristopher126StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 73
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,507member
    If only the X wasn’t a failure. 
    gregg thurmanchiajdiamondwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 73

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 


    LOL, For more than 40 years Apple has almost never pushed down market, why would they even remotely consider this. Is it that hard for people to realize that Apple willing, purposely, strategically places itself in the premium market, because that's the customers they want to have.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 73
    jungmark said:
    If only the X wasn’t a failure. 
    I like the sarcasm very much. 😎
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 73

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 
    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member
    “AAPL collapses on news that the iPhone suffered its first decline in sales on the second Tuesday of the month since Last Tuesday.”

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member


    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 
    Analysts are a unique breed. I’ve never seen any other profession which wears its inability to learn as a badge of honour. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member
    TouchID on the back. 

    Not coming to an iPhone near you. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 73

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 

    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices. Data from the last 2.5 years is a testament to this. For now, increasing ASP is taking care of growth. But is it sustainable long-term, say 5 years? Another 2 years - probably yes. Beyond that, how would Apple achieve growth?


    Mid-range segment (phones between $300 to $600) is actually seeing "growth". In this context, what should Apple do? Ignore it (as many people mention in this forum), because it devalues the brand. Or join it, to take more "profit"? It is NOT as-if there is NO money to be made by selling mid-range phones ($300-$600). Apple already addressed it to a large extent by selling 2+ year old phones (iPhone 6s, SE and even 6 in many markets) in the last quarter. But that strategy does not seem to have resulted in significant growth, with overall unit sales being "flat" compared to previous year. So Apple needs to carefully evaluate options to fuel further growth for future. The decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as people make it out to be in this thread. I have no doubt that Apple has the right leadership team to take right decisions in this challenging environment.

    avon b7
  • Reply 11 of 73
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,489member

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 

    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices. Data from the last 2.5 years is a testament to this. For now, increasing ASP is taking care of growth. But is it sustainable long-term, say 5 years? Another 2 years - probably yes. Beyond that, how would Apple achieve growth?


    Mid-range segment (phones between $300 to $600) is actually seeing "growth". In this context, what should Apple do? Ignore it (as many people mention in this forum), because it devalues the brand. Or join it, to take more "profit"? It is NOT as-if there is NO money to be made by selling mid-range phones ($300-$600). Apple already addressed it to a large extent by selling 2+ year old phones (iPhone 6s, SE and even 6 in many markets) in the last quarter. But that strategy does not seem to have resulted in significant growth, with overall unit sales being "flat" compared to previous year. So Apple needs to carefully evaluate options to fuel further growth for future. The decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as people make it out to be in this thread. I have no doubt that Apple has the right leadership team to take right decisions in this challenging environment.

    You see flat sales. I see people holding on to their iPhones longer, but staying within the Apple ecosystem, and still many others moving to the iPhone, ultimately growing the user base. I also see a whole lot of people very excited about the iPhone X, and that looks to drive sales.

    Would that other manufacturers have such a strategy. You, like so many that comment here, are just aching for that race to the bottom, which seems to be the modus for many manufacturers to increase market share, and that always starts with cutting the average selling price back.

    Did you happen to notice that Apple Services keeps growing? Would you think that there is a correlation? How about those wearable sales?

    As Horace Dediu at asymco.com states, the average user spends $.50 per day on Apple products or services; something like $650 million revenue a day on average.



    edited February 2 Foliowatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 73
    Apple doesn't compete in the low end with cheap low-margin products like their competitors. 
    This is how Apple consistently makes tons of profits, leaving its competitors in the dust.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 73
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 1,997member

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 

    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices. Data from the last 2.5 years is a testament to this. For now, increasing ASP is taking care of growth. But is it sustainable long-term, say 5 years? Another 2 years - probably yes. Beyond that, how would Apple achieve growth?


    Mid-range segment (phones between $300 to $600) is actually seeing "growth". In this context, what should Apple do? Ignore it (as many people mention in this forum), because it devalues the brand. Or join it, to take more "profit"? It is NOT as-if there is NO money to be made by selling mid-range phones ($300-$600). Apple already addressed it to a large extent by selling 2+ year old phones (iPhone 6s, SE and even 6 in many markets) in the last quarter. But that strategy does not seem to have resulted in significant growth, with overall unit sales being "flat" compared to previous year. So Apple needs to carefully evaluate options to fuel further growth for future. The decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as people make it out to be in this thread. I have no doubt that Apple has the right leadership team to take right decisions in this challenging environment.

    Agreed 100%.

    The curiosity factor in these results lies in thinking how unit sales would have turned out if Apple hadn't changed strategy and and left lower priced phones in the lineup.

    I dare say that more than one top executive is breathing a sigh of relief.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 73
    chasmchasm Posts: 508member
    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices.
    This argument is so easily debunked I feel like I’m explaining how ice is a thing. A. In what way is this challenge “unique?” It is no such thing. B. The middle class can grow. You may be thinking only of America, where the middle class is being systematically killed off, but the middle class is growing by leaps and bounds in some other countries. You must have missed the part where Cook noted China had double-digit growth, Japan had double-digit growth, indeed the company said all their market segments were up. Apple is now the number one seller of smartphones worldwide by revenue. So your claim that “only so many people can afford an iPhone” is unvarnished malarkey. C. You have a fair point that if the world economy goes badly south, Apple may hurt more than others, but a recent story elsewhere that rated the refurb iPhone 7 line as “clearly the best phone you can buy for $380” makes me think maybe — just maybe — Apple has already given that scenario some thought. It seems to me to be well-proven that people want as close to the iPhone experience as they can afford to get, and Apple has responded to that by ... offering an array or mid-range models , most of which are older designs, but not old iPhones — from the SE to the 6S to the 7 Plus, they are all brand new (and if you’re willing to go refurb or used, they’re even cheaper). D. Yes, iPhone sales were essentially flat this year, but you seem to be ignoring the fact that for *every other maker not named Samsung,* sales were way down. IOW, the global smartphone industry just had exactly the sort of major market downturn you’re predicting will hurt Apple the most — and yet the companies who were actually hurt the most by it were — the cheapie/knockoff makers, because they weren’t making any money to start with.
    FolioStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 73
    tmay said:

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 

    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices. Data from the last 2.5 years is a testament to this. For now, increasing ASP is taking care of growth. But is it sustainable long-term, say 5 years? Another 2 years - probably yes. Beyond that, how would Apple achieve growth?


    Mid-range segment (phones between $300 to $600) is actually seeing "growth". In this context, what should Apple do? Ignore it (as many people mention in this forum), because it devalues the brand. Or join it, to take more "profit"? It is NOT as-if there is NO money to be made by selling mid-range phones ($300-$600). Apple already addressed it to a large extent by selling 2+ year old phones (iPhone 6s, SE and even 6 in many markets) in the last quarter. But that strategy does not seem to have resulted in significant growth, with overall unit sales being "flat" compared to previous year. So Apple needs to carefully evaluate options to fuel further growth for future. The decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as people make it out to be in this thread. I have no doubt that Apple has the right leadership team to take right decisions in this challenging environment.

    You see flat sales. I see people holding on to their iPhones longer, but staying within the Apple ecosystem, and still many others moving to the iPhone, ultimately growing the user base. I also see a whole lot of people very excited about the iPhone X, and that looks to drive sales.

    Would that other manufacturers have such a strategy. You, like so many that comment here, are just aching for that race to the bottom, which seems to be the modus for many manufacturers to increase market share, and that always starts with cutting the average selling price back.

    Did you happen to notice that Apple Services keeps growing? Would you think that there is a correlation? How about those wearable sales?

    As Horace Dediu at asymco.com states, the average user spends $.50 per day on Apple products or services; something like $650 million revenue a day on average.

    When you say "still many others moving to the iPhone, ultimately growing the user base", do you mean that "Premium segment with >$600 has further potential for growth" in future? I.e. are there MANY smartphone users (to the tune of tens of million) who are currently spending >$600 on competing OEM phones and they are more likely move into Apple's ecosystem, fueling the future user-base growth? It is an important question to be answered. Apple is already holding about >80% share of the "premium segment" which is stagnant. There is very little, if any, scope for adding users in this segment.


    If Apple does NOT grow user base, the effect of people holding on to their phones longer would be that iPhone sales would start going down compared to the same quarter year ago. And it has started happening already, with a very minor reduction in sales for the holiday quarter. While 1 million is a very small reduction in sales, it could become a "trend" for the coming quarters if Apple does not change strategy for future. There is only so much scope for increasing ASP of iPhones. Apple's user base "growth" cannot come from selling "Premium" phones (with >$600 pricetag) alone because that segment is stagnant. It can only happen through selling "mid-range" phones with pricetag between $300 - $600.


    Your interpretation of "race to the bottom" is different from my interpretation of "race to the bottom". If there is NO profit to be made by selling $300-$600 phones, I would agree that it is a "race to the bottom" move. But that is NOT the case. There are profits to be made even in the mid-range segment. And this is a growing segment. As I mentioned earlier, the decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as you & others make it out to be.

  • Reply 16 of 73
    chasm said:
    This argument is so easily debunked I feel like I’m explaining how ice is a thing. A. In what way is this challenge “unique?” It is no such thing. B. The middle class can grow. You may be thinking only of America, where the middle class is being systematically killed off, but the middle class is growing by leaps and bounds in some other countries. You must have missed the part where Cook noted China had double-digit growth, Japan had double-digit growth, indeed the company said all their market segments were up. Apple is now the number one seller of smartphones worldwide by revenue. So your claim that “only so many people can afford an iPhone” is unvarnished malarkey. C. You have a fair point that if the world economy goes badly south, Apple may hurt more than others, but a recent story elsewhere that rated the refurb iPhone 7 line as “clearly the best phone you can buy for $380” makes me think maybe — just maybe — Apple has already given that scenario some thought. It seems to me to be well-proven that people want as close to the iPhone experience as they can afford to get, and Apple has responded to that by ... offering an array or mid-range models , most of which are older designs, but not old iPhones — from the SE to the 6S to the 7 Plus, they are all brand new (and if you’re willing to go refurb or used, they’re even cheaper). D. Yes, iPhone sales were essentially flat this year, but you seem to be ignoring the fact that for *every other maker not named Samsung,* sales were way down. IOW, the global smartphone industry just had exactly the sort of major market downturn you’re predicting will hurt Apple the most — and yet the companies who were actually hurt the most by it were — the cheapie/knockoff makers, because they weren’t making any money to start with.

    China had double-digit growth, Japan had double-digit growth, indeed the company said all their market segments were up - Was it due to ASP increase or unit sales increase?


    Edit:

    Another question - How do you expect "middle class" to increase "unit sales" in future, while it has NOT helped increase the unit sales in the past 2.5 years?


    Btw, I am from India and I don't see any respite for middle class even here!!! In fact, we are in a worser situation than you folks in USA. We have a PM who speaks like Obama and acts like Trump. Just imagine how that would be!!!

    edited February 2
  • Reply 17 of 73
    In recent history, as the iPhone is only 10 years old - everything is recent history, the "Apple is Doomed" was because Apple depended on a single product.  A company lives and dies on revenue and profit, you can not have just one.  Now look at the graph of revenue and profit, are they growing? Has the mix of products and services shifted? Is the Apple management team guiding the company to where the puck will be?
  • Reply 18 of 73
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,066member
    Rayz2016 said:


    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 
    Analysts are a unique breed. I’ve never seen any other profession which wears its inability to learn as a badge of honour. 
    mmmm... actually I know of, oh never mind ...
  • Reply 19 of 73
    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    Agreed. Apple does not buy into the 'Walmart' type of business..."Sell a lot of sh*t products and make a little money on each!" Apple leaves that to Samsung, MS and Google.

    75% of US GDP is made up by the American consumer. What Apple understands is, 50% of US GDP is made up by the top 10% of consumers. That's who Apple is selling to. Those who can afford a $1,000+ laptop (Apple has 98% of that market) and a $1,000 iPhone X.

    Yes, of course, there are a good portion of 'Aspirational' sales. Meaning, those people who perhaps are spending too much of their disposable income on Apple products. (I happen to be one them!)

    Best. 
    edited February 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 73
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,489member
    avon b7 said:

    kevin kee said:
    Commenting on the downturn in iPhone sell-through, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said Apple needs participate in a race to the bottom if it wants to grow shipment volumes moving forward.  

    "If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve," Mawston said. 
    Neil Mawston doesn't seem to get Apple business. The day Apple joining the race to the bottom is the day we all should start to worry. There are the concessions made by selling older version iPhone, but that has not been prioritised.  Selling an older iPhone with cheaper price does not equal to creating brand new phone line (MacPhone? Apple Phone?) just for flooding the lower spectrum of the market.
    If the goal was to sell the most widgets Mawston would be correct. But, in business that isn’t the goal. In business the goal is to make the most PROFIT. In this Apple is, by far, #1

    That would make Mawston terribly wrong (I’ll bet if asked Mawston wouldn’t lower the price for his research). 

    Here is the new unique challenge that Apple will have to deal with. "Premium" segment in terms of volume (phones with >$600) is NOT going to increase in the coming years. This segment is stagnant with no more room for growth, because there are only so many people on this planet who can "afford" premium devices. Data from the last 2.5 years is a testament to this. For now, increasing ASP is taking care of growth. But is it sustainable long-term, say 5 years? Another 2 years - probably yes. Beyond that, how would Apple achieve growth?


    Mid-range segment (phones between $300 to $600) is actually seeing "growth". In this context, what should Apple do? Ignore it (as many people mention in this forum), because it devalues the brand. Or join it, to take more "profit"? It is NOT as-if there is NO money to be made by selling mid-range phones ($300-$600). Apple already addressed it to a large extent by selling 2+ year old phones (iPhone 6s, SE and even 6 in many markets) in the last quarter. But that strategy does not seem to have resulted in significant growth, with overall unit sales being "flat" compared to previous year. So Apple needs to carefully evaluate options to fuel further growth for future. The decisions to be taken by Apple are NOT as easy as people make it out to be in this thread. I have no doubt that Apple has the right leadership team to take right decisions in this challenging environment.

    Agreed 100%.

    The curiosity factor in these results lies in thinking how unit sales would have turned out if Apple hadn't changed strategy and and left lower priced phones in the lineup.

    I dare say that more than one top executive is breathing a sigh of relief.

    In the last two years, Apple has increased its user base for all products by 300 million to 1.3billion. If in fact, Apple was not seeing growth of its user base, nor of its services, your remedy to sell iPhone models at lower prices might seem prudent. More to the point, the high end drove both the ASP, and unit sales, not the low end, and as I and many others have stated, the iPhone X remains popular. It helps that iPhones retain so much value over their lifecycle. Why should Apple change its strategy?

    If anything, Apple's decision to locally assemble/manufacture it's entry SE model, and possibly the iPhone 6s in India, looks to be exactly the type of remedy that you and muthuk are asking for. 

    I still have my doubts about you ever being an iPhone user, other that occasionally with your wife's iPhone 6, and based on your many posts to the effect of love of all things Huawei, I doubt you would every be satisfied with whatever Apple's growth strategy is. So, needless to say, I don't take your comments all that seriously on the issue of unit sales or marketshare.
    edited February 2 StrangeDayswatto_cobraRayz2016
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