Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Five years and still selling: 250M iPhones, $150B in revenue

The iPhone family (let's call it a family) is the greatest selling single smartphone family in the world. While Android may have a lead overall, that's scattered across a number of devices, not one of which can hope to match the iPhone. So how many iPhones, and how much profit, has Apple sold in the nearly five years since its launch?

[The fifth anniversary of the shipment of the first iPhone is June 29, in just two days.]

Truly, it's an estimate, but Strategy Analytics has done the estimate: Apple has shipped 250 million iPhones worldwide, and seen the world's most popular smartphone (family, remember, as this is across all iPhone models ever shipped) generate $150 billion in cumulative revenues.

At the same time, however, and this applies to Google as well as Apple, Strategy Analytics believes that the next five years will be a lot more challenging in terms of smartphone sales.

For one, it's clear that smartphone market growth is slowing. That makes sense, because as more people adopt smartphones, there are less people still using feature phones to move over to an iPhone or Android device (or even a Windows Phone device).

In addition - and this is no secret, as it has been discussed for some time - carriers are tired of the heavy subsidies that iPhones carry. While priced at a premium compared to Android handsets, they are generally heavily discounted by carriers in exchange for users signing up to two-year (or longer) data plans.

Analyst Neil Mawston said in an emailed statement: “There are emerging signs that the iPhone’s next five years could get tougher. Some mobile operators are becoming concerned about the high level of subsidies they spend on the iPhone, while Samsung is expanding its popular Galaxy portfolio and providing Apple with more credible competition.”

Apple’s next quarterly results, covering its fiscal Q3 2012, will be released in July.

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