Apple recently hit the headlines for becoming a trillion-dollar company. We look at the impact the iPhone has made on the smartphone market and the role it played in Apple’s market success.
Apple’s Market Impact in 2018
• 41.3 million iPhones sold in Q3 – it was only on sale for 6 months.
• 52.2 million iPhones sold, contributing 62% of sales to Apple.
iPhones sales have slowed as people upgrade their phones less frequently and the high price point of the latest device may have put off some customers. Ultimately smartphones still continue to be the main source of income for Apple.
The iPhone X re-energised the smartphone market which analysts believed to be stalling. This release included radical changes like ditching the home button, larger bezel-less screens and facial recognition. It was a trendsetter. Other smartphone companies rushed to follow suit as consumers came to expect this technology as standard. Apple has the power to define how devices of the future will look and operate. It will be interesting to see if they make significant changes to their next device and continue to raise the bar.
The price of the latest iPhone raised eyebrows. Consumers voiced concerns that it would cause other phone makers to follow suit. How much more expensive will phones get? If the price does continue this upward trend, then brands will need to make the upgrade more worthwhile.
However, this does leave opportunities wide open for the mid-range smartphones to cater for those who don’t want to splash the cash. Gartner’s Q1 resultsalready highlighted growth in this section of the market. Apple may drive what users expect to see from phones but some of the affordable alternatives offer high-quality cheaper options that appeal to cost-conscious consumers.
iPhone vs Android
Huawei made headlines this year, becoming the second largest smartphone maker worldwide. This move pushed Apple down to third position for the first time in seven years, proving that a mid-tier strategy can work.
Samsung has just launched the new Galaxy Note, placing an emphasis on AI. The launch was brought forward following poor Galaxy S9 sales. Samsung hopes to create a connected ecosystem. The company are looking to integrate mobile devices with smart homes of the future. Soon your fridge, your speaker and your phone will all talk to each other. We look forward to hearing more about this at Samsung’s IFA launch event later this month.
The smartphone market may be crowded and more competitive than ever, but it still provides opportunities for creative and affordable strategies. Apple’s market impact has been huge in 2018. But it won’t be plain sailing for Apple from here.