A tale of renewed unit sales growth—and a new peak iPhone—told in four charts.
From “A billion iPhone users” posted Monday on Above Avalon:
According to my estimate, Apple passed the billion iPhone users milestone last month. Thirteen years after going on sale, the iPhone remains the perennial most popular and best-selling smartphone. Competitors continue to either shamelessly copy iPhone or, at a minimum, be heavily influenced by the iPhone. Looking ahead, Apple’s top priorities for the iPhone include finding ways to keep the device at the center of people’s lives while at the same time recognizing the paradigm shift ushered in by wearables.
As shown in Exhibit 1, iPhone unit sales on a trailing twelve months basis dropped by about 12% in early 2019 from a 218 million annual pace to a 191 million pace.
Instead of looking at sales just in terms of the number of units shipped from a factory, Exhibit 2 takes into account who bought iPhones: customers upgrading to a new iPhone or customers buying their first new iPhone.
By combining the two groups, one is able to derive estimates for the total number of iPhones in the wild.
In FY2015, Apple sold 231 million iPhones. There continues to be a debate regarding whether or not Apple experienced “peak iPhone,” never exceeding that 231 million unit sales total in a 12-month stretch.
Odds are increasing that Apple has not experienced peak iPhone. As shown in Exhibit 4, my FY2021 iPhone unit sales estimate stands at 240M units, 4% higher than Apple’s previous iPhone sales record.
My take: Cybart, a multiple Apple Earnings Smackdown winner, maintains one of the best Apple sales databases. For access, and to subscribe to his daily Above Avalon updates, click here.