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  (Source: Edible Blog)
iPhone likely seized over a half of all U.S. smartphone sales

AT&T Inc.'s (T) blowout quarter was newsworthy enough, but it dropped a bit of a shocker in its numbers release -- 7.6 million iPhone activated for the quarter, with 9.4 million smartphones sold.  That means the iPhone outsold Android and Windows Phone combined nearly 4-to-1 on America's largest carrier.

(Now some have pointed out that "activated" phones can include third party sales, free phones, etc. and are distrustful of AT&T's assertion that the "majority" of activated iPhones are iPhone 4Ss... in other words they're saying that Verizon and AT&T's iPhone numbers are skewed in Apple's favor.  But a report indicates that 9 out of 10 iPhones purchased are iPhone 4Ss -- and much of the remainder is likely iPhone 4 sales, so this seems like sour grapes. -JM)

Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) success with iPhone 4S is so startling that it deserves a recap:

The players:
  1. Verizon Wireless
    (joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD))
  2. AT&T
  3. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S)
  4. Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA
Results (Confirmed: AT&T and Verizon; Pending: Sprint and T-Mobile's, italicized):

iPhone dominates
So, the disclaimer here is that Sprint and T-Mobile did not report their quarterly earnings yet, much less their smartphone sales.  And judging by past earnings reports, Sprint may not give solid numbers for iPhone sales and neither carrier is likely to give concrete estimates of smartphone sales.  But there's no reason, based on past numbers, to expect these carriers to be selling smartphones at a significantly higher per-subscriber percentage than Verizon/AT&T.

Let's say we're horribly off and that the iPhone sold only ~52%.  Recent estimates show Canada's Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) to hold about 6% of U.S. sales, while Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and others took up about 5 percent of sales.  That would place Android at around 37%.

The odd thing is even the best analyst estimates didn't see this coming.  They predicted a near tie for Apple in the U.S., but did not predict an Apple victory to this extent.

Android and Apple have had a dramatic role reversal.  Ironically this reversal came on a launch that many analysts complained lacked enough new features (the only major upgrade was Siri) to impress buyers.  

iPhone 4S
Analysts thought the iPhone 4S would flop.  How wrong they were.
[Image Source: The Tech Journal]

The iPhone on AT&T was boosted in part due to strong legacy sales -- the iPhone 4 retails for $99 USD with 2-year contract on AT&T, while the iPhone 3GS is free with contract.

Will the mass-market invasion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in H1 2012 stem the rising iPhone tide?  Will Windows Phone finally gain a leg up in the U.S. market? There are plenty of unknowns for the upcoming year, but it is clear that Apple absolutely owned the holiday 2011 U.S. sales.

Source: AT&T



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RE: iPhone 4S =/= iPhone 4
By TakinYourPoints on 1/26/2012 10:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
The irony here is that the main criticism against the 4S from haters is that it looks the same as the old model. Superficial reasons.. From a practical standpoint it is a substantial upgrade, faster than pretty much anything out there. Would a new case have made any real difference except for haters who criticize based only on looks?

Your perception of Apple and their customers does nothing to change the real practical utility of the platform.


RE: iPhone 4S =/= iPhone 4
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 10:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
Apple caused that criticism themselves via the excessive iPhone "5" hype. The 4S just could not live up to it. And calling everyone who points this out a "hater" is kinda lame, because tons of industry writers and "expert" bloggers have expressed their disappointment. Not everyone is a hater, okay?

Also it really was time for a form factor change or at the very least a move to SAMOLED screen technology.

Apple has always projected a forward thinking image. But right now all the innovation is coming from Samsung and HTC etc etc. You bring up it's speed, which is true. But Apple has always been about more than mundane metrics like "speed and performance", haven't they?

If Apple is switching from "look and feel" to performance oriented, then they are going to have to release new phones more than once every 15 months. Or else they'll be leapfrogged performance wise several times over by the time they release the new model.


RE: iPhone 4S =/= iPhone 4
By TakinYourPoints on 1/27/2012 1:11:11 AM , Rating: 2
The gadget blogs and rumor sites whipped themselves up into a frenzy over the iPhone 5. Apple doesn't say a thing until they're ready.

Apple isn't switching from look and feel to performance oriented, both can go hand-in-hand. In fact, they still don't compare performance between their products and other devices, Anandtech does that themselves with their benchmarks. As for hardware catching up, we'll see. It can very well happen, it's just that so far Android hardware has been in a perpetual state of playing catch-up even though it has much more frequent hardware upgrade cycles. No idea why non-Apple SoCs continue to be this far behind. The A6 (or whatever they call it) will be out by March or April. The Tegra 4 will need to be more than a substantial leap beyond the Tegra 3.


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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