Apple's iPhone outpaces overall smartphone market, Gartner finds

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in iPhone
New data from market analyst firm Gartner saw Apple's holiday percent of sales slightly drop to 17.9 percent, with Samsung holding a slight edge at 18.2 percent in a contracting market fighting a consumer base reluctant to upgrade.




"Two main factors led to the fall in the fourth quarter of 2017," said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta. "First, upgrades from feature phones to smartphones have slowed down due to a lack of quality 'ultra-low-cost' smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones. Second, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones. Moreover, while demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales."




The biggest winner in the quarter was Xiaomi, with an increase in marketshare from 3.6 percent to 6.9 percent. The top five continue to draw from smaller manufacturers, with the trailing vendors seeing a market contraction in sales overall.

Noting that any supply to demand balance wasn't achieved for the iPhone X until early December, Gupta expects that the iPhone X will continue a strong showing in the smartphone market for the first calendar quarter of 2018.

Apple's average selling price for the holiday quarter was $796. For the same quarter, Samsung's average selling price is estimated to be $254. Both companies saw record heights for average selling price in the holiday quarter.

For the entirety of 2017, Gartner saw a slight contraction in Apple's marketshare from 14.4 percent in 2016 to 14 percent. Samsung held the lead, and saw a slight increase. Huawei, Oppo, Vivo all saw slight increases as well, but all trailed behind Apple.

While the data from Gartner is using a like-for-like comparison on a quarterly basis, the 2016 holiday quarter had one extra sales week than the 2017 holiday did. Calculated on a weekly basis, Apple's iPhone sales for the holiday quarter were actually higher than that of a year prior. However, given that all of the companies were impacted by the length of the reporting quarter, this doesn't change any of the relative percentages between manufacturers.

Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S9 prior to the Mobile World Congress on Feb. 25. As with flagship launches from previous years, it is unlikely to make a big impact on the company's average selling price per device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    edited February 2018 tmay
  • Reply 2 of 46
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,398member
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    I've had a long running battle with one of AI's non-iphone using members,over a focus on maintaining ASP vs targeting unit growth. Neil's post enlightened me on the value of ASP; if you are in a declining market, generate a lot of revenue and pump it into the next great thing. Don't put too much effort in gaining new users that won't use a lot of services, or buy much in the ecosystem. Do more for your user base.
    canukstormmagman1979chiaStrangeDayswatto_cobralolliverAirunJaejony0
  • Reply 3 of 46
    The headline and the first sentence contradict each other.  If Apple market shared "slightly dropped" then it wouldn't be "outpacing the general market."  It turns out that it didn't "slightly drop" it "slightly grew" (from 17.8% to 17.9%) (if you believe those estimates are all that precise).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,398member
    The headline and the first sentence contradict each other.  If Apple market shared "slightly dropped" then it wouldn't be "outpacing the general market."  It turns out that it didn't "slightly drop" it "slightly grew" (from 17.8% to 17.9%) (if you believe those estimates are all that precise).
    It was noted in the story, but impacted all of the device makers equally.

    That ASP that Samsung is getting, $254, is about a third of Apple's...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 46
    tmay said:
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    I've had a long running battle with one of AI's non-iphone using members,over a focus on maintaining ASP vs targeting unit growth. Neil's post enlightened me on the value of ASP; if you are in a declining market, generate a lot of revenue and pump it into the next great thing. Don't put too much effort in gaining new users that won't use a lot of services, or buy much in the ecosystem. Do more for your user base.
    "if you are in a declining market, generate a lot of revenue and pump it into the next great thing."

    Exactly what Jobs did on his return to Apple in the 90's => "Milk the Mac for what it's worth and work on the next big thing"
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 6 of 46
    There will be more growth due to the battery fiasco. More people are realizing that after replacing their battery and erasing their device and setting up as new, their device still isn't as responsive as it was when it was newly purchased and had whatever current OS on it. 

    Sure some one threaten to go buy a Samsung device but most of those are idle threats. 

    I would expect to see a rise in iPhone 7, 8 and X sales throughout the spring and summer months. 
  • Reply 7 of 46
    There will be more growth due to the battery fiasco. More people are realizing that after replacing their battery and erasing their device and setting up as new, their device still isn't as responsive as it was when it was newly purchased and had whatever current OS on it. 

    Sure some one threaten to go buy a Samsung device but most of those are idle threats. 

    I would expect to see a rise in iPhone 7, 8 and X sales throughout the spring and summer months. 
    If they're iPhone 6 / 6+ users then I definitely can see why.  The A8 is pretty aged, not to mention that it has only 1GB of RAM, which at this point, isn't enough.  With iOS 11, I think an iPhone 7 series is minimum to have a good user experience.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobraAirunJae
  • Reply 8 of 46
    Other sites are reporting that Apple's share is way, way down and Android's is way, way up.
    sigh.
    I guess it takes all sorts.
    Somewhere in the middle is the truth.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 46
    I would say these numbers pretty much confirm Apple is doomed.  Nothing is worth than a shrinking market share percentage.  One day a company is down a tenth of a percent and the next day they're at zero market share percentage.  That's how Wall Street sees it for Apple.  Apple had better corner the cobalt market and force all the Android smartphone makers to pay double or triple the price of batteries.  Make the cost of a single battery be about one-fourth the cost of an Android smartphone.  That will show them who's the boss.

    Anyway, considering most of Apple's iPhones cost far more than the Samsung smartphone models, I'd say Apple is managing to do OK.  Maybe not great and certainly not the expected "super-cycle" but OK just the same.  It's just not enough to keep Apple off the doomed list.  Apple investors are still "concerned, doubtful, worried, fearful, troubled, distressed, uneasy, etc." but that's how those wealthy people always are if they think they might lose some of their precious money.  I'll bet some of them actually thought Apple might have gained some market share percentage until this absolutely frightening report hit the internet.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    There will be more growth due to the battery fiasco. More people are realizing that after replacing their battery and erasing their device and setting up as new, their device still isn't as responsive as it was when it was newly purchased and had whatever current OS on it. 

    Sure some one threaten to go buy a Samsung device but most of those are idle threats. 

    I would expect to see a rise in iPhone 7, 8 and X sales throughout the spring and summer months. 
    Of course they're going to buy some Samsung smartphone instead of an iPhone.  Most consumers absolutely hate looking at the iPhone X notch.  They consider the notch the most hideous thing they've ever seen on a smartphone.  They'll never forgive Apple for slowing down their ancient iPhones.  They were supposed to last another couple of years running at top speed even as iOS grew in size and function.
    /s
    watto_cobraAirunJaejony0
  • Reply 11 of 46
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    Has more with the industry as a whole, the only place where they'd be unit growth is at the very very low end, like selling sub $50-100 "smartphones", and you'd need to sell 10 of those to cover a lost sale at the top.

    Your install base may become bigger, but not your sales cause sales cycle are getting longer.

    If Apple is Apple to serve well their existing customers, the ecosystem will slowly get more and more of the Android top to mid-range replacement phone cycle sales and build it's user base and increase the breadth of what it can offer them.

    By the time phone sales are half what they are now in 5-6 years, phones will be replaced every 5-6 years and Apple will  be a lot more diversified.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    Apple need the notch to distinguish themselves from the opposition, problem is that notch isn't going to look good in the shops in a year or so next to the competition which have full screen bezel less phones. Apple won't be able to charge the premium they do today, phones are moving from luxury to a commodity item, and I believe Apple sales number will inevitably start to slowly decline too.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    foggyhill said:
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    Has more with the industry as a whole, the only place where they'd be unit growth is at the very very low end, like selling sub $50-100 "smartphones", and you'd need to sell 10 of those to cover a lost sale at the top.

    Your install base may become bigger, but not your sales cause sales cycle are getting longer.

    If Apple is Apple to serve well their existing customers, the ecosystem will slowly get more and more of the Android top to mid-range replacement phone cycle sales and build it's user base and increase the breadth of what it can offer them.

    By the time phone sales are half what they are now in 5-6 years, phones will be replaced every 5-6 years and Apple will  be a lot more diversified.
    Perhaps I am a bit too optimistic, but I don't see iPhone sales falling by 50% in 5 (or 6) years time.  I follow Neil over at Above Avalon, and based on his estimates the iPhone user base still has a few years of "growing the base", after which the majority of new iPhone sales will be upgraders (of course likely to see a trickle of new users getting new iPhone or switching).  But by that time, the iPhone user base is likely north of 900M users.  

    I don't know if anyone has published what the "average" iPhone upgrade cycle is - certainly more than 2 years, but is it more than 3 years on average (some upgrade every year, some every 4 - majority in middle)?  So let's say it is 3 years now on global average.  I don't see that expanding to 5-6 years (like PC's got to) for reasons of:
    - battery as noted.  These devices don't plug in, and while a declining battery in a PC is an inconvenience, it can be crippling to a phone
    - breakage (self explanatory)

    The iPad was/is different IMO as it was not nearly as mobile, and could remain plugged in much longer as it remains at home more, resulting in longer upgrade cycle.

    With perhaps a peak of 900M user base, and upgrade cycle of 4 years, sales would still be around 200M units per year, with a slow decline per year.

    Thankfully Apple is the leading company in wearables...
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 14 of 46
    saltyzip said:
    Apple need the notch to distinguish themselves from the opposition, problem is that notch isn't going to look good in the shops in a year or so next to the competition which have full screen bezel less phones. Apple won't be able to charge the premium they do today, phones are moving from luxury to a commodity item, and I believe Apple sales number will inevitably start to slowly decline too.
    Basis and facts for any of that BS you just peddled?

    You have none, just like Wall Street scum that repeatedly march to that stupid drum beat.

    Just another troll jumping into the Apple is Doomed narrative.
    bb-15watto_cobralolliverkudu
  • Reply 15 of 46
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    As a side note, into such a relatively flat market as high-end smartphones, Googles late push with the Pixel looks even worse.
    tmaycroprwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 46
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member

    Samsung’s battery disaster and Apple’s less than optimal iOS 11 rollout suggest a certain resiliency in customer bases. Possibly as much as the flagship devices, it’ll be the watch, AirPods, and support at Apple Stores that enlarge the pool of Apple devotees. Just as Mac gained in a mature PC world where cycles lengthened, even more so will the iPhone in my view. And if someone takes a year or two longer to refresh their iPhone, likely she’ll be buying HomePod or watchbands. (Walked into AppleStore other day and it could’ve been Gucci for all the space devoted to fashionable watch bands!) I won't be surprised, per FoggyHill comments, to see per capita yearly spend on Apple products increase. Imagine less than 5 years, sleek AR glasses alongside all those watch bands.

    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 17 of 46
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,398member
    brucemc said:
    foggyhill said:
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    Has more with the industry as a whole, the only place where they'd be unit growth is at the very very low end, like selling sub $50-100 "smartphones", and you'd need to sell 10 of those to cover a lost sale at the top.

    Your install base may become bigger, but not your sales cause sales cycle are getting longer.

    If Apple is Apple to serve well their existing customers, the ecosystem will slowly get more and more of the Android top to mid-range replacement phone cycle sales and build it's user base and increase the breadth of what it can offer them.

    By the time phone sales are half what they are now in 5-6 years, phones will be replaced every 5-6 years and Apple will  be a lot more diversified.
    Perhaps I am a bit too optimistic, but I don't see iPhone sales falling by 50% in 5 (or 6) years time.  I follow Neil over at Above Avalon, and based on his estimates the iPhone user base still has a few years of "growing the base", after which the majority of new iPhone sales will be upgraders (of course likely to see a trickle of new users getting new iPhone or switching).  But by that time, the iPhone user base is likely north of 900M users.  

    I don't know if anyone has published what the "average" iPhone upgrade cycle is - certainly more than 2 years, but is it more than 3 years on average (some upgrade every year, some every 4 - majority in middle)?  So let's say it is 3 years now on global average.  I don't see that expanding to 5-6 years (like PC's got to) for reasons of:
    - battery as noted.  These devices don't plug in, and while a declining battery in a PC is an inconvenience, it can be crippling to a phone
    - breakage (self explanatory)

    The iPad was/is different IMO as it was not nearly as mobile, and could remain plugged in much longer as it remains at home more, resulting in longer upgrade cycle.

    With perhaps a peak of 900M user base, and upgrade cycle of 4 years, sales would still be around 200M units per year, with a slow decline per year.

    Thankfully Apple is the leading company in wearables...
    As for the Apple upgrade cycle, I read recently that it was 2.76 yr average, so your guesstimate of 3 yrs would be spot on. 

    I agree with you that unit sales aren't going to diminish by 50% in the next 5 years; the user base is still expanding and even if the average age goes to 4 years, I'd still expect Apple to ship 200m units per year in 2023. 

    Look at it from the perspective of Samsung or Huawei; they are already paying a heavy price for marketshare maintenance or acquisition respectively. Look for device manufacturer consolidation to begin in Chine this year or next. Even if Apple does need to react in the near term to unit sales drop-off, they are in a much better position for response at the low end, if necessary, and still provide the premier smartphone ecosystem.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 18 of 46
    tmay said:
    brucemc said:
    foggyhill said:
    Best article I've read so far on the "State of iPhone" is this one written by Apple Analyst Neil Cybart. TLDR: iPhone has moved from a stage of sales growth to one of sales stability. https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2018/2/21/the-goldilocks-era-for-iphone-has-begun
    Has more with the industry as a whole, the only place where they'd be unit growth is at the very very low end, like selling sub $50-100 "smartphones", and you'd need to sell 10 of those to cover a lost sale at the top.

    Your install base may become bigger, but not your sales cause sales cycle are getting longer.

    If Apple is Apple to serve well their existing customers, the ecosystem will slowly get more and more of the Android top to mid-range replacement phone cycle sales and build it's user base and increase the breadth of what it can offer them.

    By the time phone sales are half what they are now in 5-6 years, phones will be replaced every 5-6 years and Apple will  be a lot more diversified.
    Perhaps I am a bit too optimistic, but I don't see iPhone sales falling by 50% in 5 (or 6) years time.  I follow Neil over at Above Avalon, and based on his estimates the iPhone user base still has a few years of "growing the base", after which the majority of new iPhone sales will be upgraders (of course likely to see a trickle of new users getting new iPhone or switching).  But by that time, the iPhone user base is likely north of 900M users.  

    I don't know if anyone has published what the "average" iPhone upgrade cycle is - certainly more than 2 years, but is it more than 3 years on average (some upgrade every year, some every 4 - majority in middle)?  So let's say it is 3 years now on global average.  I don't see that expanding to 5-6 years (like PC's got to) for reasons of:
    - battery as noted.  These devices don't plug in, and while a declining battery in a PC is an inconvenience, it can be crippling to a phone
    - breakage (self explanatory)

    The iPad was/is different IMO as it was not nearly as mobile, and could remain plugged in much longer as it remains at home more, resulting in longer upgrade cycle.

    With perhaps a peak of 900M user base, and upgrade cycle of 4 years, sales would still be around 200M units per year, with a slow decline per year.

    Thankfully Apple is the leading company in wearables...
    As for the Apple upgrade cycle, I read recently that it was 2.76 yr average, so your guesstimate of 3 yrs would be spot on. 

    I agree with you that unit sales aren't going to diminish by 50% in the next 5 years; the user base is still expanding and even if the average age goes to 4 years, I'd still expect Apple to ship 200m units per year in 2023. 

    Look at it from the perspective of Samsung or Huawei; they are already paying a heavy price for marketshare maintenance or acquisition respectively. Look for device manufacturer consolidation to begin in Chine this year or next. Even if Apple does need to react in the near term to unit sales drop-off, they are in a much better position for response at the low end, if necessary, and still provide the premier smartphone ecosystem.
    The market is slowly moving to statis, like the telecom market. Where customer acquisition costs will be a very big and instilling customer loyalty and providing in "ecosystem" services and expanded sales will be primordial. The catch is, to sell to users you have, they must be satisfied with your existing offer and they must have money for those expanded offers. That doesn't occur in the market most Android OEM serve currently.

    The cost to gain customer becomes so great that if you don't own the top of the market, like Apple and in parts Samsung, getting new customers is almost impossible to do economically. You get very entrenched markets with a natural wide moat.

    Samsung has the money to pay to subsidize customer acquisition from their other businesses and so does Google, but they lack the customer retention stickiness to make it worth while. So, they got a huge amount of churn, the worse thing to happen in a market in statis as you leave the chance for the competition to get your customers to switch.

    Apple only needs to provide phones at the upper mid market and lower end of the top market to favor those "lets now try Apple" people.
    Apple knows that's once these people are in, there is a more than 50% chance that those switchers won't leave, that's all it takes to built the use base and steal Androids best clients.

    Getting the best clients at the high end, and slowly but surely at the higher end of the mid-range (with the likes of the SE) means everybody else is starving in a down market and in house R&D takes a hit forcing everyone to sell essentially small variants of the same phone with no hopes of competing except on price.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobratmayRonnnieO
  • Reply 19 of 46
    saltyzip said:
    Apple need the notch to distinguish themselves from the opposition, problem is that notch isn't going to look good in the shops in a year or so next to the competition which have full screen bezel less phones. Apple won't be able to charge the premium they do today, phones are moving from luxury to a commodity item, and I believe Apple sales number will inevitably start to slowly decline too.
     you do realize how many decades people have been saying that about all of apple’s products, right? yet, decade after decade, here they are, still charging a premium...
    watto_cobratmaylolliverAirunJaebrucemckudu
  • Reply 20 of 46
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,371member
    There's a lot of blather and speculation out there, but as usual the truth can be determined by sticking to the facts:

    1. (FTA) Apple sold more iPhones per week than it did in the year-ago quarter.

    2. Because the quarter was a week shorter than the year-ago quarter, Apple was seen to have sold less phones/made less money. This simply isn't true (see point #1)

    3. While there is no breakdown of what model sold best, the ASP of the iPhone went up by $100 from the year-ago quarter. There is *literally* only one way that could happen: the most expensive model sold gangbusters.

    4. Tim Cook is legally obligated to not lie or exaggerate or mislead in his statements on things like the FTC filings and the conference call with analysts. He said the iPhone X was the top-selling iPhone every week since it was available.

    5. The iPhones overall leapt to the #1 brand of smartphone in sell-through.

    6. Apple made 51 percent of ALL the revenue generated by ALL smartphones in calendar Q4, the first time it has ever done that.

    I think the conclusions you can draw from ignoring the speculation and focusing on the facts are pretty obvious: first, the iPhone as a brand sold better this year than last, albeit only slightly; second, the numbers support the statement that the iPhone X is the top-selling model; and finally, that in spite of downward trend in the market overall, the iPhone brand continues to grow.

    Anything else on this front ... and particularly things from papers whose names rhyme with "DK" or "wigidimes" ... is mostly hogwash.
    edited February 2018 AirunJaetmay
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