Spring iPhone sales slip to lowest activation share in years

Posted:
in iPhone

The iPhone's slice of the smartphone activation pie has shrunk to its smallest size in six years, marking a concerning trend for Apple as it grapples with the longest gap yet between its iPhone releases.

A blue iPhone with a dual-camera system on a wooden surface.
iPhone sales slip to lowest activation share in years



The latest data reveals that the iPhone now accounts for only one-third of all new smartphone activations in the US, a significant decline from its 40% share over the past year, as noted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

Apple's once-dominant position in the smartphone market is now under threat as it faces fierce competition from Android devices, which now hold a commanding two-thirds share of new activations. The shift in market dynamics mirrors the situation six years ago when iOS and Android pushed out competitors like Blackberry and Windows.

Several factors contribute to the activation decline. As smartphone prices have soared, so has their durability, encouraging users to hold onto their devices longer.

Bar chart showing a declining trend from 40% to 33% over five periods, titled 'Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC'.
iPhone's proportion of new phone activations (among recent smartphone buyers, evaluated over twelve-month periods ending each quarter)



The evolution from two-year subsidized purchase contracts to more transparent buying plans has also played a role, allowing consumers to postpone upgrades.

The extended lifecycle of smartphones has primarily impacted Apple since it has traditionally relied on frequent upgrades to boost sales. The current slowdown in sales activation share is a critical indicator of changing consumer behavior in the smartphone market.

People are becoming less inclined to upgrade devices as quickly as before, possibly waiting for more substantial updates or shifts in technology. Whether this trend represents a temporary hiccup or a long-term change in consumer purchasing behavior remains a question.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,093member
    This is likely the result of Android users cycling through phones more often

    The best metric is the percentage of smartphone users who use Apple - the installed base
    Alex1NAfarstarwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 134member
    Can we please stop paying attention to analysts & research firms like these? They sound like rabid dogs, foaming at their mouths, barking for more growth, more profits, more money. Destroy the company, is fine by them, as long as the figures go up next quarter
    ssfe11iOS_Guy80Alex1Nmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Like the man said, "It's the economy stupid"  credit cards are maxes out, no funds to get that new iPhone.
    iOS_Guy80watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    I think that lots of folks are just holding on to their iPhones longer. I got a $1K rebate on my iPhone 14 Pro Max through AT&T. The catch of course is that you get the rebates back on a monthly basis. That’s fine with me. Getting a $1600 phone for only $600 by keeping it three years is fine with me. I may purchase an iPhone 17 next year, but then again I may just hold onto the 14. It will be paid off completely, and honestly should be still quite useful. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    doggonedoggone Posts: 385member
    For a while I was getting a new iPhone every year through the Apple upgrade program.  I skipped that in 2022 and then got a new phone in 2023.
    The fact is that iPhones don't age that much in performance over a span of 2 years so there isn't much incentive to refresh every year.
    Plenty of people hold onto them for years because they last so long.
    I would like to see numbers on customer loyalties and how many people switch from iPhone to Android and vice versa.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 519member
    There also isn't a lot of new innovation coming out of Apple that differentiates the new model from the old model.  Faster chip?  Who cares -- phones are fast enough already.  Minor camera tweaks aren't worth $1500.  So naturally people are holding on to them longer.  Carrier deals almost force customers to hold on to their phones for 3 years.
    cropr
  • Reply 7 of 9
    I've been an Apple iphone user since launch on AT&T. I may have jumped around with carriers but I pretty much always used iphones most of the time. I went from upgrading yearly to every few years to now 3-4 years. We use a family plan and two of the users only upgrade when the phones no longer qualify for iOS. For example we just upgraded from an iphone 6s plus to an iphone 11 in the pool  last year and an iphone X is still in use atm. My daughter still uses an iphone 11. So right now, we have iphone 14 max, iphone 11 max, iphone 11 and iphone X.

    There just isn't any compelling reasons to upgrade outside of aging out of iOS. The last time I had a problem with an iphone in our family plan was an iphone 4s and Apple just swapped it and gave me a brand new one. I don't even get Applecare anymore. Last time I had an Applecare plan was on my iphone 7 Plus I think.

    Rock solid workhorses that are supported for 5+ years. This just seems to be the logical conclusion to that. I would be more interested in overall market share across all models actively owned and used.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    PemaPema Posts: 43member
    rhbellmor said:
    Like the man said, "It's the economy stupid"  credit cards are maxes out, no funds to get that new iPhone.
    It's time for Apple to put its hand in its very deep pocket and purchase Netflix & Spotify. Meld the two into NetSpot and let subscribers either stream tunes or movies. 

    It will add billions to the bottom line. 

    T. Cook is a good manager but not an innovator like good o'l Jobs. 

    The Vision Pro is great product but in order to sell to the mainstream market you need to have a Vision Lite at the $1500 level. Otherwise it will remain a niche product used by medical, mining, tech and such companies who can afford the $3500 whopper of a price. 

    Oh, and while Apple is on a buying spree - hopefully - buy Tesla and shut that idiot down. 

    Make Tesla the AppleCar. Only better. 


  • Reply 9 of 9
    Pema said:
    rhbellmor said:
    Like the man said, "It's the economy stupid"  credit cards are maxes out, no funds to get that new iPhone.
    It's time for Apple to put its hand in its very deep pocket and purchase Netflix & Spotify. Meld the two into NetSpot and let subscribers either stream tunes or movies. 

    It will add billions to the bottom line. 

    T. Cook is a good manager but not an innovator like good o'l Jobs. 

    The Vision Pro is great product but in order to sell to the mainstream market you need to have a Vision Lite at the $1500 level. Otherwise it will remain a niche product used by medical, mining, tech and such companies who can afford the $3500 whopper of a price. 

    Oh, and while Apple is on a buying spree - hopefully - buy Tesla and shut that idiot down. 

    Make Tesla the AppleCar. Only better. 



    Let Tim Cook Apple. 
    Hopefully, it doesn´t get rotten. 
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