Apple may be fighting saturated smartphone market in US, but iPad still has room for growt...

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Apple's efforts to continue growing its market share in the United States may be facing resistance from the market itself, as Pew research data indicates high levels of saturation for smartphones and cellphones, leaving few relatively few brand new customers to acquire.




The data, released by the Pew Research Center on Saturday, suggests that the overall use of Internet-connected devices and related services has remained in approximately the same state as was found in 2016. While previous surveys showed general growth trends across all monitored segments, the differences between 2016 and 2018's results are relatively minimal.

Approximately 95 percent of U.S. Adults in 2018 own and use cellphones, while 77 percent claim to own or use smartphones. The recorded results are notably the same values as found in 2016, just as discovered for social media's usage by 69 percent of adults.

Of elements that have changed, Internet use has grown from 88 to 89 percent, tablet usage has increased from 51 percent to 53 percent, and desktop or notebook computer usage has dropped from 78 percent to 73 percent.

"A contributing factor behind this slowing growth is that parts of the population have reached near-saturation levels of adoption of some technologies," writes Pew's Paul Hitlin. "Put simply, in some instances there just aren't many non-users left."

via Pew Research Center
via Pew Research Center


Drilling down into specific groups, approximately 91 percent of people aged 18 to 49 currently own or use a smartphone, with 99 percent using some form of cellular communication, with college graduates measured at 91 percent and 97 percent respectively for each area. Smartphone penetration is also up to 93 percent for households with an income of $75,000 or more, with 98 percent owning or using a cellphone.

For tablet ownership and usage, like for the iPad, the figures again suggest the educated and the affluent to be the biggest users. While 55 percent of adults aged 18 to 49 say they own or use a tablet, higher than the 53 percent for all surveyed, the number grows to 66 percent for college graduates, and 72 percent for those with a $75,000 minimum household income.

With figures generally below 60 percent, the data suggests the iPad isn't encumbered by a saturation problem, and has a fair way to go before wide ownership and usage of tablets becomes a problem for sales.

While the saturation of the highly competitive U.S. market may be causing problems for increasing iPhone shipments for Apple, the company has already worked to continue the growth in other areas. Apple continues to make headway in growing and emerging markets that are far from saturation, such as China and India, meanwhile the higher average selling price created by the introduction of last year's iPhone X and this year's iPhone XS models will help increase iPhone-derived revenue.

In the United States specifically, Apple continues to enjoy a healthy lead over other smartphone producers, with domestic sales in the March quarter said to have been up 16 percent year-on-year in a May report. Furthermore, the same report revealed Apple had six of the 10 most popular smartphone models sold in the U.S in the first quarter, with the top five of the list made up of variants of the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,900member
    If Apple wants to open up the tablet market they can do so easily by simply removing the constraint of its absence of a cursor & keyboard with a touchpad.   Yeh, you can work around the limitation, but the iPad will never fulfill its promise as a laptop killer with its hands tied this way.

    Apple has been adding functionality to it for several years now.   But, for some reason, they've been holding back from pulling the trigger.
    TomE
  • Reply 2 of 14
    The average income numbers in this article are fairly interesting. For households with $75,000 income per year, an iphone (or even 2) with $1500 pricetag each is not such a huge expense. So much ado for nothing, I would say. In developing countries like mine (India), the number of households with even $25,000 per year itself is very small. And it is not surprising that iPhone penetration is low in emerging countries like India.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,200administrator
    The average income numbers in this article are fairly interesting. For households with $75,000 income per year, an iphone (or even 2) with $1500 pricetag each is not such a huge expense. So much ado for nothing, I would say. In developing countries like mine (India), the number of households with even $25,000 per year itself is very small. And it is not surprising that iPhone penetration is low in emerging countries like India.
    Another factor that the markets seem to ignore is that iPhones are rapidly becoming a user's primary device. Spending $1000+ on your main device and not spending $1000 on a laptop is not a big deal for those users and those markets.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,454member
    If apple is having an issue with a saturated market on phones so are the competitors. However, Apple has other revenue streams centered around the phone, Apple competitors do not have that same opportunities. We are definitely hanging onto phones a lot longer 3 or 4 yrs not the 6 to 8 on our Mac's
    edited October 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    .
    If Apple wants to open up the tablet market they can do so easily by simply removing the constraint of its absence of a cursor & keyboard with a touchpad.   Yeh, you can work around the limitation, but the iPad will never fulfill its promise as a laptop killer with its hands tied this way.

    Apple has been adding functionality to it for several years now.   But, for some reason, they've been holding back from pulling the trigger.
    Yes, Just like Samsung did with their phones turning into Chromebook or bringing PC out of their smartphones using DeX. https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mobile-accessories/phones/dex-station---black-ee-mg950tbegus/

    That woul not be innnovation again as claimed by Apple crowd frequently. And for the record iPhone and iPad already has support for external mouse or even wirless mous and keyboard. It does not draw cursor only. I playd with it and I can select or type with those devices... unless of course iOS 12 disabled that and I tested on older versions of iOS. In fact, Apple devices recognize quite a lot standard USB devices connected to it with dongle.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 6 of 14
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 118member
    We get this story every year and every year it's wrong. Stop already with the saturated B.S.!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,900member
    horvatic said:
    We get this story every year and every year it's wrong. Stop already with the saturated B.S.!
    Why do you say it's "B.S"?
    I know very few adults who do not already own a smart phone.   They are like white elephants.  The market has left the arena of opening up to new users and entered the period of selling replacements and/or scavenging from other vendors.
  • Reply 8 of 14

    This article is incomplete by not accounting for Apples other business units encompassing; services, wearables, HomePods, AppleTV, future Augmented reality product and Transportation as a service(TAAS).  For some reason Pew doesn’t want to look at Apple as a platform of devices and services, wonder why......

    Additionally, many people lease their phones, getting a new device every 12 to 24 months.  These longer lasting devices filter down to lower economic demographics and make them accessible.  If Apple wanted to turbocharge iPad sales, they could offer the same leasing program as the phones.


    Regarding mouse capability, that’s a mixed bag as only some people truly need such functionality.  I use a HP elite book for work and never use the touchscreen functionality, but accidentally touch spreadsheets a lot, causes problems.

    I understand my case is specific but it highlights one fact, moving between touch controls, keyboard, and mouse is awkward.

    Apple will most likely skip this confusing dual interface, by jumping straight into augmented technology.  If the glasses know where you’re looking, and creates virtual screens and dynamic GUIs as needed, the mouse becomes null.

    There’s always the MacBook...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,347member
    Dear Apple, release an iPad that’s worth upgrading to and people will buy it.
    Releasing meh updates won’t make people want to upgrade.
    claire1TomE
  • Reply 10 of 14
    claire1claire1 Posts: 494unconfirmed, member
    There's always new buyers and switchers from the garbage knockoffs to the real thing. No worries here.

    Funny they fail to mention "smartwatches" as that would make Apple. look too good.

    horvatic said:
    We get this story every year and every year it's wrong. Stop already with the saturated B.S.!
    Why do you say it's "B.S"?
    I know very few adults who do not already own a smart phone.   They are like white elephants.  The market has left the arena of opening up to new users and entered the period of selling replacements and/or scavenging from other vendors.
    And every year we hear this reply. Shouldn't iPhone had been saturated 4 years ago if these articles are to be believed?

    Truth is, more people are upgrading to iPhone and people with old iPhones will eventually buy a newer one. These articles make it seem like once everyone has an iPhone, sales will hit 0.

    evilution said:
    Dear Apple, release an iPad that’s worth upgrading to and people will buy it.
    Releasing meh updates won’t make people want to upgrade.

    I so agree. Apple has become so infatuated with iPhone that they treat iPad like a step child. There's absolutely ZERO reason an iPhone should have more functionality/better specs than an iPad.

    iPad needs to be the future for animated films, music, engineering, enterprise, plane cockpits, restaurants/retail, movie editing, art, etc.
    Not just a toy that keeps your kid amused on a long road trip.

    maestro64 said:
    If apple is having an issue with a saturated market on phones so are the competitors. However, Apple has other revenue streams centered around the phone, Apple competitors do not have that same opportunities. We are definitely hanging onto phones a lot longer 3 or 4 yrs not the 6 to 8 on our Mac's

    These critics are similar to those who say iPhone would sell more if Apple added a headphone jack, SD card slot and USB port.
    Apple invented the iPad as a device for the future not to repeat old tech.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,900member
    LordeHawk said:

    This article is incomplete by not accounting for Apples other business units encompassing; services, wearables, HomePods, AppleTV, future Augmented reality product and Transportation as a service(TAAS).  For some reason Pew doesn’t want to look at Apple as a platform of devices and services, wonder why......

    Additionally, many people lease their phones, getting a new device every 12 to 24 months.  These longer lasting devices filter down to lower economic demographics and make them accessible.  If Apple wanted to turbocharge iPad sales, they could offer the same leasing program as the phones.


    Regarding mouse capability, that’s a mixed bag as only some people truly need such functionality.  I use a HP elite book for work and never use the touchscreen functionality, but accidentally touch spreadsheets a lot, causes problems.

    I understand my case is specific but it highlights one fact, moving between touch controls, keyboard, and mouse is awkward.

    Apple will most likely skip this confusing dual interface, by jumping straight into augmented technology.  If the glasses know where you’re looking, and creates virtual screens and dynamic GUIs as needed, the mouse becomes null.

    There’s always the MacBook...

    1)  Why would you be switching back and forth?
    2) Why would it confuse you?

    If you need a cursor such as, like you suggest, for spreadsheets, then use the cursor.   If you're say, playing fortnite, use the touchscreen.   Sounds easy enough to me.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,900member
    claire1 said:
    There's always new buyers and switchers from the garbage knockoffs to the real thing. No worries here.

    Funny they fail to mention "smartwatches" as that would make Apple. look too good.

    horvatic said:
    We get this story every year and every year it's wrong. Stop already with the saturated B.S.!
    Why do you say it's "B.S"?
    I know very few adults who do not already own a smart phone.   They are like white elephants.  The market has left the arena of opening up to new users and entered the period of selling replacements and/or scavenging from other vendors.
    And every year we hear this reply. Shouldn't iPhone had been saturated 4 years ago if these articles are to be believed?

    Truth is, more people are upgrading to iPhone and people with old iPhones will eventually buy a newer one. These articles make it seem like once everyone has an iPhone, sales will hit 0.
    ...
    That's pretty much what I said...

    And, the article didn't say everybody has an iPhone.   It said the smartphone market is saturated because pretty much everybody has a smart phone.   So, like you and I both said:   iPhones will sell because: "more people are upgrading to iPhone and people with old iPhones will eventually buy a newer one"

  • Reply 13 of 14
    The iPad has its uses, but it's not a real computer, it's a giant phone that can't make regular phone calls.

    I honestly never saw the point in the first place.  I bought a cheap used iPad 2 several years ago because I needed to be able to assist clients with iPad troubleshooting, but the only thing I ever did with it other than helping a few people work through the menus was play a few games.  It still works, but it's on a shelf and I haven't touched it in months, and I have absolutely no need to get a newer one, it would do the same thing.

    I think the market IS saturated for it, there just isn't that big a market.  Everybody still needs a real computer, phones are big enough to read books on if you want, there's probably some growth room left for graphic artists and doctors, but not much else.

    And of course the smartphone market is saturated.  How many people do you know who don't have one?  I can think of one or two people in their '80s with dumbphones, but everybody else has either an iPhone or Android.  The market is purely upgrades and replacements now.

    Apple's real room for growth is the Macintosh.  They need to start building some real pro laptops, and fix the giant gaps in their desktop product line with new minis and Mac Pros.  They're overthinking it, and there's a good chance they're about to screw up again, on the trash can Pro level.  They could have solved this years ago by saying "oops" and grabbing an Intel reference design and making a few mods, but Ive has his head so far up his rear that he can't see how badly he's screwing up.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,900member
    darkvader said:
    The iPad has its uses, but it's not a real computer, it's a giant phone that can't make regular phone calls.

    I honestly never saw the point in the first place.  I bought a cheap used iPad 2 several years ago because I needed to be able to assist clients with iPad troubleshooting, but the only thing I ever did with it other than helping a few people work through the menus was play a few games.  It still works, but it's on a shelf and I haven't touched it in months, and I have absolutely no need to get a newer one, it would do the same thing.

    I think the market IS saturated for it, there just isn't that big a market.  Everybody still needs a real computer, phones are big enough to read books on if you want, there's probably some growth room left for graphic artists and doctors, but not much else.

    And of course the smartphone market is saturated.  How many people do you know who don't have one?  I can think of one or two people in their '80s with dumbphones, but everybody else has either an iPhone or Android.  The market is purely upgrades and replacements now.

    Apple's real room for growth is the Macintosh.  They need to start building some real pro laptops, and fix the giant gaps in their desktop product line with new minis and Mac Pros.  They're overthinking it, and there's a good chance they're about to screw up again, on the trash can Pro level.  They could have solved this years ago by saying "oops" and grabbing an Intel reference design and making a few mods, but Ive has his head so far up his rear that he can't see how badly he's screwing up.
    So, the iPad is not a "real" computer?
    Yet, the main difference between it and a MacBook is its lack of a cursor.   That's fairly easily fixed.  Just add a cursor and produce a keyboard with a touchpad.    Problem solved.
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