Post-holiday, the iPhone installed base appears to have grown by 2 percent

Posted:
in AAPL Investors
Apple's growth rate of the install base of active iPhones is flattening a bit in the US, analysis from CIRP claims, with the number of iPhones in use estimated to have grown 2% between the start of January and the end of March.




The iPhone is thought to no longer be undergoing the stellar growth of previous years by analysts, predicting issues such as a maturing smartphone market and a saturation of potential customers. Estimates based on Apple's financial results, in part due to Apple no longer reporting unit sales of major product categories, put Apple as shipping around 30 percent fewer iPhone units year-on-year.

The reduced shipments also mean that there is a smaller increase in the number of iPhone units in use in the United States. Analysis from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners provided to AppleInsider suggests there is a US install base of 193 million units at the end of March 2019, up just 4 million from 189 million units at the end of December, and 20 million units more than the same time last year.

CIRP based its estimates on the US base increase from estimated global sales of 39 million iPhones, in turn derived from an estimated average selling price of $803 and revenues disclosed by Apple.

Via CIRP
Via CIRP


The 2% sequential quarterly growth and 12% year-on-year growth is down from what was seen one year prior, estimated at 4% and 19% respectively.

"The US installed base of iPhones continues to plateau," said CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz. "Relative to the most recent quarters, and especially to the past two or three years, slowing unit sales and longer ownership periods means that the growth in the number of US iPhones has flattened considerably."

While the 12% year-on-year growth is good, Lowitz reasons "investors grew accustomed to quarterly growth of 5% or more, and annual growth of almost 20%," suggesting this may prompt investors to ask themselves if Apple's external sales will compensate.

Though it is a good indicator for hardware revenue, it is arguable the install base is more important when considering Apple's greater focus on its Services arm, as the larger the install base, the larger the potential customer base for new services like Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple TV+.

Despite the plateau, CIRP's research from April claims the iPhone is still doing well with carriers. It was reported Apple had the highest share of all smartphone brands in terms of US mobile activations for the first quarter of 2019, beating Samsung 36% to 34%.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    More than half of the entire population of the US has iPhones and it's "only" still growing at a single digit rate in the off-season?

    DOOOOOOOOOOMED!
    jmey267lkruppcornchiplolliverjony0
  • Reply 2 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    chasm said:
    More than half of the entire population of the US has iPhones and it's "only" still growing at a single digit rate in the off-season?

    DOOOOOOOOOOMED!
    Certainly not doomed, I don't see that happening for at least 50 years if even then. They are far too rich. But CIRP is counting devices and not users. Some folks have more than one, you might be one of those, can't remember.
    tyler82chasm
  • Reply 3 of 11
    FolioFolio Posts: 557member
    Might be time to switch to ARPU, where average revenue per user comprises phone, watch, Airpods, iPads, iMacs, Services, watch bands, etc. taking into account refresh rates and offsets. For instance, if I skip buying this year's new phone, likely spend more "Apple dollars" elsewhere. Ditto institutions. Sooner or later the diversity of Apple's ARPU compared to rivals will tickle more neurons.
    chasmlolliver
  • Reply 4 of 11
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 736member
    Interesting tie-in to Horace Deidu’s latest article, where he estimates 1.5 B iOS products are still in use:

    http://www.asymco.com/2019/05/16/the-pivot/
    chasm
  • Reply 5 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    IIRC, CIRP’s track record on this stuff is as poor as ... well, the other professional guessers. Horace is the only person I can think of who regularly seems to have a good handle on what’s actually going on.
    cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 11
    RocwurstRocwurst Posts: 57member
    So that gives the 193m iPhones a MASSIVE 69% share of the 278m active installed base of smartphones in the USA (as reported by NewZoo). Not sure why the Media persists in trying to make what is amazingly good news for Apple sound bad?
  • Reply 7 of 11
    flydogflydog Posts: 280member
    CIRP has no clue how many active iPhones there are in the US.  Might as well be guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 11
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,314member
    FWIW (0%) my family of four has roughly 10  products, 3 Apple ID’s and counting. Seriously doubt my kids will be switching. I really only know two people who have switched away from apple (and that’s only because her husband made her). Growth may have plateaued a tad, but once you get the difference... 
  • Reply 9 of 11
    RocwurstRocwurst Posts: 57member
    cornchip said:
    FWIW (0%) my family of four has roughly 10  products, 3 Apple ID’s and counting. Seriously doubt my kids will be switching. I really only know two people who have switched away from apple (and that’s only because her husband made her). Growth may have plateaued a tad, but once you get the difference... 
    Your kids are in the majority. (Sorry for the earlier typo!)
    “According to a new survey from Piper Jaffray’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens”, a record number of teens in the U.S. are still using an iPhone as their daily driver. The survey shows that 83 percent of teens surveyed, as of spring 2019, use an iPhone as their primary device. There were 8,000 teenagers surveyed in this latest report, with a turnout of 54 percent male and 46 percent female.”
    edited May 17
  • Reply 10 of 11
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 470member
    I think it is very good result in slowing market. Means new customers are coming. Not sure how many featurephones were replaced if any are in service or how many is from Android switchers. But when you remember about 83% teenagers owns iPhone. That is massive opportunity. As Cornchip noted kids wont switch that easily when they grow up.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,347member
    "CIRP based its estimates on the US base increase from estimated global sales of 39 million iPhones, in turn derived from an estimated average selling price of $803 and revenues disclosed by Apple."

    FQ2 March estimates ranged from IDC's embarrassing 36M to Neil Cybyart's 43M, so CIRP is starting with a low global estimate (and a pretty unbelievably high ASP) to estimate what happened within the US, where sales weren't as soft as China (hit by the Q1 economic dip). Sounds problematic.

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