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back to article Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

Bad news Samsung: the Apple iPhone 5S is still the hottest-selling phone in the world, according to stats from the beanies at Counterpoint. The numbers for May covering 35 countries, show Apple's flagship mobe bucking expectations by outselling handsets from all competitors some eight months after it launched. But Tom Kang, …

Anonymous Coward

I think that a Platform Top 10 would be more interesting.

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I think that a Platform Top 10 would be more interesting.

But are there 10 platforms??

Seriously, we all know Android wins by if you count by volume, and iOS by profit, with everyone else way behind.

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Anonymous Coward

The difference is much less if you excluded the shovelware £99 or less Android crap.

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Linux

As would a bottom 10.

Anyway, just wait until Microsoft launch a smartphone - you'll see who's boss then.

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Anonymous Coward

Good point, maybe Manufacturer would be better.

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+1 for numbers per manufacturer. Apple has very few models; in fact, it has only two new models, and the older ones serve as cheap options. Samsung has many different models, so it makes sense that none of them would be top seller.

But more importantly, it would be nice to have actual numbers, instead of just a ranking. As of now, the iPhone 5S could sell ten times more than all other phones combined, or 1% more from the second ranked… As it is, I find the report next to useless.

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@Ratfox, the iPhone sells about twice as much, over previous years about 1/3 more. Consistently has done. You just would never guess it from reading The Register "Peak Apple" articles. You hear headlines about The Samsung S whatever outselling the iPhone at launch, but that is only because it is the launch month. At all other times they are usually far behind.

Additionally app developers make on average twice the revenue from iOS apps than Android apps make on the Google play store (that's about 4 times the revenue per active user)

Models per manufacturer is almost irrelevant, because most manufacturers shipping low cost Android handsets are making virtually zero profit (at least those outside china. Stats for China only suppliers are scarce). In fact last year, combined, all smartmobe manufacturers other than Samsung and Apple made less than zero profit. Samsung are primarily making their profit from the Galaxy range, which is why they held a sales crisis meeting late last year when it was clear sales were dipping.

Samsung recently have rebranded ALL there handsets as "Galaxy" range. In my view this is to obscure their worsening position in high-end handset market and to start reporting numbers for total number of mobes shipped, so they can still try and look like they are still performing well relative to Apple by publishing "bigger" figures.

The truth is the handset market is now like the Netbook market became. Wafer thin margins that will massively raise risk and strangle innovation. Android is playing the same role as Windows did for Netbooks and the promise to manufacturers that they can differentiate on top of it with their own UI implementation is slowly being withdrawn as it is being shown to bring fragmentation problems and as Google has now established a large enough user base they can start to dictate terms.

These market characteristics have lead Benedict Evans to point out it is best not to think of the smartphone maker as a single market, but rather a set of markets, some being worth a lot more than others. There's only one that is really worth being in, and that is the high-end market, and Apple continue to steadily expanding within it and continue to increase their domination of it. I know many El Reg readers don't like to hearing this and swallowed The Register's "Peak Apple" analysis that was based on nothing more than wishes, but it's the truth.

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Huh ?

Apple might have few models, 3 indeed in the line up, but exact numbers or not - they are still outselling devices below them in absolute terms. Surprised the more junior Samsung phones are not in the top ten - Galaxy Y, Fame, Ace/Ace 2 etc.

Samsung remain dominant though, as as well as selling phones, they are the supply chain.

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"Apple has very few models; in fact, it has only two new models, and the older ones serve as cheap options."

This. If you combine the Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, I expect it is greater than the iPhone 5S + 5C + 4S.

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Perhaps

Maybe it's because the iPhone adverts concentrate on how the device can improve your life, while Samsung adverts concentrate on slagging off the competition. Apple show me how to use my phone to do stuff like making music, educating kids, getting fit etc. while Samsung tell me the stuff Apple devices can't do which I haven't noticed by myself while out using them for all that stuff. Yes, call me a wall hugger if you like, but I still have no idea why a Galaxy is more use than an iPhone.

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Re: Perhaps

Good for you that you're happy with that kind of aspirational advertising. Sounds like a load of bull (white not add "brings world peace" to the list?) to me but that just tells us we're different kinds of customers.

I like more specific uses that are relevant to me: phone, camera, mapping, e-mail, listen to music / audio books, battery life, cost, etc.

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Re: Perhaps

"I still have no idea why a Galaxy is more use than an iPhone"

Perhaps your sequence was shortened?

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Re: Perhaps

You forgot about the use of "Gigantic" by the Pixies

I suppose lusting after huge black male members counts as aspirational...

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Happy

Re: slagging off the competition

I don't think Samsung invented this kind of ads… I remember a series of ads from last decade, comparing a cool young guy who was buying from a trendy company, and an boring old man who was buying the "standard". I think the second guy was a "PC", and I can't quit remember what the other one was…

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Re: slagging off the competition

Quite right. The difference is though, the I'm a PC, I'm a Mac ads hit the spot, because they traversed the period Windows Vista was on sale. Some of the Samsung ads are quite good but don't hit the spot in the same way. iOS generally has higher satisfaction ratings than Android and as a result more existing Android users are switching to iOS than iOS users are switching to Android. Re the wall-hugger ads, smartphone battery life in general, for all smartphone users, is crap and everyone knows that. iPhone battery life is actually relatively good and Samsung seem to be making a play about having replaceable batteries and also the new reserve low power battery mode. But few people carry round replaceable batteries, Samsung users feel just as afflicted by short battery life as iPhone users and all other smartphone users and in any case the subset of iPhone users who are like the subset of Samsung users who would carry a spare battery, have the highly effective option of the Morphie Juice Pack.

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Re: slagging off the competition

as a result more existing Android users are switching to iOS than iOS users are switching to Android

I've not seen any stats outside the US to back that up. All-in-all the I-Phone is better hardware but the differences between the high-end devices are now minimal and I think the halo/lockin effect is diminishing: I know lots of people who have IOS and Android devices and are happy with that arrangement.

re. your other assertion about developers preferring IOS. I don't think that this is still the case. I recently read the first piece of an IOS developer praising Google for their support as his company starts to successfully sell to both platforms. Sure, the margins may be higher on IOS but the size of the Android market often more than makes up for that.

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Re: slagging off the competition

"re. your other assertion about developers preferring IOS ... Sure, the margins may be higher on IOS but the size of the Android market often more than makes up for that."

You seem to have misunderstood what it means to say developers are earning on average twice the amount per app on iOS than Android.

Here's the background data for that one:

http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/6/25/market-shares

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Re: slagging off the competition

I've just come back from a holiday/wedding in Spain with 2 companions who each own a Galaxy 4S.

One was permanently complaining about battery life (though to be fair, he did seem to have an unhealthy addiction to FB) and the other (who was complaining about her phone before she arrived) swearing that when the contract was up she was getting an iPhone.

What was quite interesting, that in similar circumstances, the iPhone and the iPad in the other room, picked up and connected to access points much quicker than either of the sammies.

I must say though, that the camera on the Galaxy produces much better pictures than my iPhone.

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Re: slagging off the competition

"Quite right. The difference is though, the I'm a PC, I'm a Mac ads hit the spot"

They hit the spot because OS X overtook Windows is market share right? No? Still 2%? Oh.

You just think they 'hit the spot' because you're a devout follower of the mac church.

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Re: slagging off the competition

"I've just come back from a holiday/wedding in Spain with 2 companions who each own a Galaxy 4S."

S4.

But it sounds like whatever network they are on had bad cell coverage there and a combination of roaming and low signal was eating into their battery life. See, when the signal is low, the phone boosts the battery usage of the antennae to try to get a signal. On iOS it is programmed to always show 4 bars and drop calls.

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So Samsung has 5 models in the top 10 – we've no idea what the median or average sales are so the list is fairly meaningless (the 5c in the middle makes me suspicious) – and Apple 3. I If I was Samsung I'd be pretty happy with that, especially with the high margin phones doing so well.

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Doubtless Samsung are very happy, possibly as happy as Apple. It's just every other phone maker on the planet that aren't.

Funny how so many tech markets turn into two horse races, seems to have been like this for as long as I can remember.

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Actually, early on Samsung wasn't really part of the Android picture.

It's classical brand segmentation Brand X (leader) or Brand Y (challengers) or Aldi's own. Doing things worldwide fuzzes things up because Xiaomi is pretty much only available in China. Indeed Xiaomi's numbers suggest that these figures are heavily, and perhaps inevitably, skewed by the Chinese market. Other manufacturers may be doing well in smaller markets. Certainly HTC, Sony and Motorola have started to carve their own niches in the wake of Apple and Samsung.

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Counterpoint’s channel research

What exactly is Counterpoint’s channel research??

Upon investigation it appears that it is based on their own portfolio items, namely its "Monthly Marketing Pulse". Does it state within the Pulse where this information is sourced from? No.

However it does state that the Marketing Pulse this info was taken from was from the May edition. So either this is very old news or another page clicker based on opinion from yet another *stats based entity.

* 72% of all stat based companies talk shite for cash ;)

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I've firmly in the Apple camp, but the timing of this poll seems to have been cherry-picked. This S5 just came out in April. By May, the initial batch had probably been depleted, so would be S5-buyers probably had to wait in some countries. And obviously S4 sales would have declined since buyers would be holding out for an S5.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:

And by October things will look very different once more. Will the iPhone 6 & 5s compete against each other? Will 5c be dropped?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not surprised - it's the best smartphone. Most of the people I know with high end Androids either have swapped to an iPhone 5S or have bought something like the Moto G as it's almost as good as the high end Android handsets but a fraction of the price. When Apple release a new (larger screen) iPhone suspect many more will switch from Android.

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In other anecdotal evidence, everyone I know is doing the opposite. Hardly know anyone with an iPhone any more. Most have got fed up with them and moved on.

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All of little interest to me

I've had several android and IOS phones over the years and none work properly for me. I used to think that the mobile signals were just poor, but everyone else seemed to have signal where I had none. I have swapped phones with my wife and children and where they routinely have 4 or more 'sausages' I have none. My wife says I must have too many fillings in my teeth!

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These totals depend on where they companies dies their "research" and how they did it.

Worldwide, Samsung has double the amount of smartphones out there compared to apple [ http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-market-share.jsp ] but Apple sells more in the US [ http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/6/comScore-Reports-April-2014-US-Smartphone-Subscriber-Market-Share ] . If you do the math you will find that while the iPhone 5S sells more than any individual phone it is primarily because Samsung has too many models. Was actually surprised to see the iPhone 5C market share quite high considering it didn't get a good reception.

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Anonymous Coward

The 5c didn't get a good reception in the android paid focussed tech press, which is completely removed from actual consumers.

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The 5c didn't get a good reception in the Apple paid focused tech press either

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Apple couldn't give a toss about the general smartphone market. They're only interested in the high-margin markets. I.e. the high end. The people with the moolah. The people with dosh to slosh.

That's the only market worth chasing if you want to make a big, fat, profit. It's very much old-school business practice. And there's a good reason for that: Apple weren't born in the 21st century, or even in the 1990s. They were founded in the 1970s, when flared trousers and "Shaft" were both cool.

Apple are as old-school as you can get without being called either Microsoft or IBM. They're interested in making money, not viral videos, social networks, or bad photography.

Business is all about making a profit for the owner(s). That's the whole point of a business.

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As Winston (reputedly) once said...

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

Yes that's why Apple quotes units SOLD not SHIPPED for a start. I actually have both an iPhone 5S and a Moto G and it's clear why people prefer Apple once they have used it. I've seen / used top end Samsung handsets and I can also absolutely see why Samsung is going to have problems as the cheaper Android handsets are almost the same as the top end ones.

In terms of usage / build quality Apple are streets ahead. I've actually had a few Android handsets over the years and most are junk after the first 12-24 months as you often can't get updates etc. when the manufacturers lose interest - that's why I got the Moto G as almost just Android without all the cr@pware.

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Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"and it's clear why people prefer Apple once they have used it."

Maybe in the Apple user camp... The more I use them, the more I wonder how the heck anyone puts up with them. Some of the ways they do things is not only the opposite of the norm, but the opposite of common sense (for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded).

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Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"(for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded)."

You may consider it retarded but anyone who has a PC or a featurephone or a typewriter is well use to keys being only represented in uppercase.

Yes it would be nice for it to change but I think it will take a while yet.

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Depressing reading if you are not Apple and Samsung

It's pretty depressing reading for all other makes not Samsung or Apple - LG...

... the likes of LG,Sony, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, Blackberry and esp. Nokia.

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