Early 2019 smartphone production worldwide predicted to hit lows last seen in 2013

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 14
Global smartphone production is continuing to fall and will do for some time, according to analysts for Credit Suisse, with the investment bank forecasting production in the first quarter of 2019 for all manufacturers including Apple will fall to a level last observed in 2013.

The iPhone XR and the iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XR and the iPhone XS Max


Following Apple's revelation it anticipates missing its revenue guidance for the December quarter by $5 billion, as well as Samsung's lackluster revenues caused in part through a softer Chinese smartphone market, it isn't too much of a surprise that anyone will warn of a global smartphone market contraction. The analysts at Credit Suisse seem to think the decline is actually quite significant.

In a note to investors received seen by AppleInsider, smartphone production levels are in free-fall, with the "bottom not yet in sight," indicating manufacturing will continue to go down for a while longer. Credit Suisse recently revised its production forecast for the last three months of 2018, putting global production at 357 million units, a year-on-year fall of 3 percent for the period.

While the drop is discouraging, it pales in significance to the predicted first quarter output of 289 million units globally. In effect, this represents a year-on-year drop in smartphone production of 19 percent, leading to around the same amount of production as seen in 2013 when overall production levels were rising.

"It is too early to [say] whether this news is already fully discounted in share prices, or will continue to have an impact," notes Credit Suisse.

Up until January's revenue warning, Apple has been relatively resilient to the global smartphone market contractions that have been reported over the last year, with one November report noting that while there was a lack of growth in iPhone shipments over the Q3 2018 quarter, this also meant it wasn't seeing a reduction in sales for the period either, while other manufacturers like Samsung bore the brunt of the shortfall.

Analysts, and Apple itself, all seem to suggest China is a major contributor to slower than expected sales in recent months. Apple CEO Tim Cook advised of "lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China" accounting for the revenue shortfall.

The lower sales are also not necessarily restricted to China, as other markets may be saturated as well. One October report from Pew indicates 95 percent of U.S. Adults in 2018 own and use cellphones and 77 percent own and use smartphones, suggesting there is relatively little room to increase sales to new customers in the United States without having to fight competitors.

Apple is however continuing to carve out a space in the premium end of the smartphone market. For the third quarter of 2018, Counterpoint Research claims the premium segment of smartphones worth $400 or more grew 19 percent, with Apple being a driving force in the segment by selling 43 percent of all smartphones in the price bracket.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,460member
    Next stop; Chinese OEM consolidation, well, after a string of price cutting occurs, killing margins.
    muthuk_vanalingambadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 17
    designrdesignr Posts: 425member
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 3 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,460member
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    designr
  • Reply 4 of 17
    designrdesignr Posts: 425member
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). The key question about the installed base though is whether it is growing relative to the rest of the market. If it's not (i.e., market share decreasing), that represents a potential risk in leveraging to more of a services model.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,460member
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). The key question about the installed base though is whether it is growing relative to the rest of the market. If it's not (i.e., market share decreasing), that represents a potential risk in leveraging to more of a services model.
    Some observers consider this the moment;

    http://www.asymco.com/2018/09/13/lasts-longer/

    "Of course, there would be not much business without an environment and we should all strive for sustainability.  But this is an existential observation, and it’s defensive. The important call to make is that Apple is making a bet that sustainability is a growth business."

    Apple would have known that their iPhone business had matured merely from the mostly flat sales for the last few years, and obviously all of their marketing data, but the above was the public acknowledgement of that.
    edited January 14 StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 17
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,507member
    designr said:
    ..
    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people.
    ...
    A couple of things:
    - Not sure if your comment on not being successful at this in the past is referring to the biggest example, which is the Mac business.  Apple is the only original computer vendor still in operation, and by many measures, is the most profitable manufacturer despite being 5th (ish) on shipments.  I certainly think Apple knows how to manage a mature business.
    - With iPhones "lasting longer" (a 6s with a battery upgrade is quite capable), there is more of a grey market for iPhones that is effectively handling the lower priced tier.  Someone can buy a used iPhone 7 for less than $300 USD (often $250).  Again, add in a battery replacement for $50, and you have a phone that would last a casual user, who doesn't want to pay for the latest & greatest, for a number of years.  Apple themselves have trade-in programs for this, as do 100s of companies around the world (not counting private sales, or simply hand-me-downs from parents to kids).
    tmayStrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,016member
    brucemc said:
    designr said:
    ..
    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people.
    ...
     Someone can buy a used iPhone 7 for less than $300 USD (often $250).  Again, add in a battery replacement for $50, and you have a phone that would last a casual user, who doesn't want to pay for the latest & greatest, for a number of years. 
    Didn't the battery replacement fee go back up to $80, or did they end up settling at $50 after the $30 special offer expired the end of December?
  • Reply 8 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,098member
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    This has been my concern for a while. The problem with a mature market is replacement cycles get longer and prices and profit margins get lower. That's good for us but bad for device manufacturers. The other indirect problem is that iPhone profits have fueled and paid for development if the A- series processors that Apple makes. These are some excellent chips and lower iPhone profits will likely mean less development on these.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,460member
    MplsP said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    This has been my concern for a while. The problem with a mature market is replacement cycles get longer and prices and profit margins get lower. That's good for us but bad for device manufacturers. The other indirect problem is that iPhone profits have fueled and paid for development if the A- series processors that Apple makes. These are some excellent chips and lower iPhone profits will likely mean less development on these.
    Apple isn't close to having a revenue or profit problem, so funding R&D and specifically product development isn't going to be an issue within the next decade, as a minimum, due to the cash that Apple has on hand, and their plan to be cash neutral in seven years.

    Your concern is noted, but isn't realistic.

    It is realistic that this would be a problem for all, or most, of Android OS device makers though.
    edited January 14 StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 17
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that anyone on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) it is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    edited January 14 tmay
  • Reply 11 of 17

    tmay said:
    MplsP said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    This has been my concern for a while. The problem with a mature market is replacement cycles get longer and prices and profit margins get lower. That's good for us but bad for device manufacturers. The other indirect problem is that iPhone profits have fueled and paid for development if the A- series processors that Apple makes. These are some excellent chips and lower iPhone profits will likely mean less development on these.
    Apple isn't close to having a revenue or profit problem, so funding R&D and specifically product development isn't going to be an issue within the next decade, as a minimum, due to the cash that Apple has on hand, and their plan to be cash neutral in seven years.
    But but but people said Apple gathering vast profits to subsist off of is greedy and is glutinous like overeating!
  • Reply 12 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,313member
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that anyone on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    Why? History is littered with companies who failed due to not understanding or having a solid strategic plan in place in spite of having people whose day jobs it was to make market observations. Some of them were even in the phone business!

    Knowledge and data points aren't everything! Timing, guesswork and luck play a part too.
    muthuk_vanalingamdesignr
  • Reply 13 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,016member
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that ANYONE on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) it is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    Amen....
    Barring actual facts (and not all "facts" are created equal) we're all just offering our opinions. Denigrating each other for it is absolutely NOT what a discussion forum is for. 
    edited January 14 muthuk_vanalingamdesignr
  • Reply 14 of 17
    avon b7 said:
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that anyone on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    Why? History is littered with companies who failed due to not understanding or having a solid strategic plan in place in spite of having people whose day jobs it was to make market observations. Some of them were even in the phone business!

    Knowledge and data points aren't everything! Timing, guesswork and luck play a part too.
    Yeah, and the paste twenty years of Apple history suggests they aren't one of those failing companies. Just a hunch.

  • Reply 15 of 17

    gatorguy said:
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that ANYONE on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) it is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    Amen....
    Barring actual facts (and not all "facts" are created equal) we're all just offering our opinions. Denigrating each other for it is absolutely NOT what a discussion forum is for. 
    Bringing up the unfair treatment of trolls on unrelated discussions seems to be your new MO. 
    edited January 14
  • Reply 16 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,016member

    gatorguy said:
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    designr said:
    It is sounding increasingly like smartphones have entered the "mature market" phase. This will likely mean lower margins, less frequent upgrades from consumers and longer product upgrade cycles also.

    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people. They could approach this by refining their upgrade and iPhone installment payment plans basically turning phones into a subscription model. It's been kinda moving back this way anyway. Perhaps decide to become a carrier? Roll all of it into one monthly bill? Then the phones themselves become a "service".

    Either way, I suspect the smart phone market is reaching maturity and if no one at Apple realize this, they could make some critically bad decisions over the next 2-4 years.
    The installed base is, in fact growing, Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature, it is increasing services that are "sticky", and there are rumors of iPhone subscription plans.
    Yep. I know all of that (though I'm not entirely convinced that "Apple realized, some time ago, that the market is mature"). 
    Personally, I find it unlikely that ANYONE on an anonymous rumors site is in a position to make market observations better than the men & women who have the data and whose primary responsibility (read: day job) it is to understand & strategize in the marketplace they serve. 
    Amen....
    Barring actual facts (and not all "facts" are created equal) we're all just offering our opinions. Denigrating each other for it is absolutely NOT what a discussion forum is for. 
    Bringing up the unfair treatment of trolls on unrelated discussions seems to be your new MO. 
    Why are you being defensive? Were you calling someone a troll in this thread? I missed that. 

    edited January 14 muthuk_vanalingamctt_zh
  • Reply 17 of 17
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,507member
    gatorguy said:
    brucemc said:
    designr said:
    ..
    Apple can live in this world successfully but it hasn't shown that it's great at it in the past. If Apple wants to broaden its revenue portfolio to include the perhaps more stable and sticky services side of things, they need to make sure their installed base grows, even if slowly, and that suggests thinking about some phone options that keep more modest budgets in mind. Part of this is just purchaser psychology...at some point the phones are good enough and the premium price is less worth it.

    Apple can still carve out the higher end of the market with solid design, build, quality (and OS) while still providing more affordable options to people.
    ...
     Someone can buy a used iPhone 7 for less than $300 USD (often $250).  Again, add in a battery replacement for $50, and you have a phone that would last a casual user, who doesn't want to pay for the latest & greatest, for a number of years. 
    Didn't the battery replacement fee go back up to $80, or did they end up settling at $50 after the $30 special offer expired the end of December?
    It depends on the model.  For anything iPhone 8 or lower, it is $49.  For any "X" series, it is $69.
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