back to article Apple finally clambers to top of phone market again as spider-eyed iPhone 11 lures fanatics out of the shadows

Apple was the biggest mobile phone seller on the block in Q4 – which is about the only positive thing that could be said for iPhone's trading in 2019. Circa 78.4 million iMobes were shipped into the channel globally in Q4, up 9 per cent year-on-year, said stat collector Canalys. For context, the entire market grew just 1 per …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One hit wonder?

    One financial commentator said yesterday,

    "Take away the iPhone and what does Apple have left?"

    The answer is a business that is still bigger than 40% of the top 500 companies in the USA.

    Still overpriced tat but at least they don't seem to sell your life (i.e. Data) to every ad slinger out there unlike some other companies.

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: One hit wonder?

      Sure they just serve the ads themsevles https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/1/17418664/apple-ad-sales-app-target-smartphone. They may not directly share your information but you are still being sold.

    2. Skwosh

      Re: One hit wonder?

      I was thinking we biped monkeys like new things (more than we like discounted older things) – so what if Apple comes out with a nominally new phone – say around $400 – which is fairly competitive on features with similarly priced Androids?

      Such a phone would have one unique selling point which none of the Android phones would be able to compete with – it would be not Android.

      If Apple are to be believed then owning such a phone would allow one to avoid every moment of life being tracked, warehoused, filleted, packaged and monetised.

      Of course if you are someone who believes Apple are totally evil and horrid and just as bad as Google then such a phone would not be for you.

      If you are someone who believes that no one including yourself gives a shit about privacy anyway then such a phone would also not be for you or anyone else.

      If you are the type who would never ever ever ever ever even consider buying a phone that has a non-user-replaceable-battery/other-well-known-horrid-Apple-feature then it wouldn't be for you either.

      Also if you are someone who believes Apple only cares about margins and that they would never consider using their cash pile to subsidise something in the short term to try to gain market/mind share then you will conclude this will never even happen.

      It will be interesting to see if it does happen though, and if it does how well it sells.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: One hit wonder?

        You may not have to wait long for that. Rumor has it Apple will be introducing an iPhone SE2 (some say it will be "iPhone 9" instead) that is basically an iPhone 8 form factor but with updated internals that match what is in the iPhone 11. The rumored price is $399.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: One hit wonder?

      Take away the phone, though, and all that lovely high margin other stuff would disappear pretty quickly. But Apple has very loyal customers who like the value proposition (this is debatable but understandable) of the phone and don't mind paying over the odds for services and accessories in the generally misplaced hope that they will work better than other off the shelf stuff.

      For me, the phone wars are over. Pretty much all the modern phones are fantastic and you now have to look hard to see the difference between Android and IOS – yes, I know there are some telltale signs but at a quick glance it does look they've achieved parity.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: One hit wonder?

        Rumour is that Apple have a lower cost SE2 on the ways.

        It’s true about Android, I am no Apple fan but the alternative is worse as long as Apple is the only option out there I’m stuck with it .

        So used cheap iPhones it is.

    4. Joe Gurman

      Re: One hit wonder?

      Something over 50% of the entire DAX index in market cap.

      Next question?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " in market cap."

        Which can evaporate quite fast - if the business just looks not as profitable as before. Stock exchanges are now worse than teenagers, when it comes to fear changes...

  2. Dinanziame

    Well, I'm no stock market wizard; but it sounds very unlikely that the same people are going to buy another phone again next year. So unless Apple comes up with something revolutionary, like "fuck it we're going five cameras", it seems like they're going to sell less phones next year.

    Then again, it seems that they're gearing up for a cheaper phone this time. So Apple would have cleverly segmented their customers in two parts: those that'll buy the coolest phone no matter what it costs, and those that'll buy the cheaper version one year later. It sounds like a good strategy; though they'll probably make less money due to smaller margins, and the market will run in panic.

    Let me tag this post so I'll find it again in one year: Nostradamus

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "fuck it we're going five cameras"

      Ah yes, the same sort of bullshit that razor manufacturers went through with blades a few years ago. E.g. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/fashion-and-style/11921133/Introducing-the-seven-blade-razor-because-five-just-wasnt-enough.html.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: "fuck it we're going five cameras"

        And camera makers with megapixels.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "fuck it we're going five cameras"

        Presumably refering to https://www.theonion.com/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades-1819584036

    2. DougS Silver badge

      The people who bought in 2019 probably aren't going to buy again in 2020, you're right. It will be the people who last bought in 2018, or 2017, or even earlier who will.

      Apple reported that their "installed base" went from 1.4 billion to 1.5 billion over the past 12 months, that's the number that really matters to them not whether they see increases in year over year sales. They can keep growing the installed base even if yearly sales go into decline since every new iPhone sold means an old iPhone traded in / sold to a second hand owner, and many of those are selling on to a third hand owner. A bigger installed base means more app sales, more potential customers for services like Apple Music, and perhaps some future owners of other Apple devices like Macs or Watches.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already way too expensive

    I can well afford a new iPhone but the value just isn't there.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Already way too expensive

      For you.

      But for others it obviously is.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Already way too expensive

        Brilliant.

      2. Eeep !

        Re: Already way too expensive

        Actually you haven't debunked the value consideration, just said others might think there there is more value. Which you might want to back up with actual stats, purchasing isn't proof of those people thinking there's better value, just more "glam".

        1. jgarbo Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Already way too expensive

          For Snowflakes "glam" is value. Next...

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Already way too expensive

            I think the word "snowflake" to describe a person with a different opinion became banal and embarrassing about 2014. The UK flat-roof pub population recently rediscovered this word and are going nuts making fools of themselves with it.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Already way too expensive

      I can afford lots of things I don't buy also. Probably a few of those things I wouldn't buy you would/do. Maybe you own a high end luxury/sports car, or a second home in a vacation spot, or paid your child's way to an exclusive college. I don't see the value in those things, but some people do. But I don't go around posting AC about how I don't want those things, implying that others should not want them either.

  4. a_builder

    Well I upgraded from my trusty iPhone 7 to an 11 in November and it blew me away TBH. Totally different level.

    Battery life - fantastic

    Camera/video - beautiful

    Processing power - awesome video editing

    I hardly use my tablet it is soooo good.

    I didn’t buy an 8 as I couldn’t see much difference to the 7. The X was overpriced. The 11 is way better than the X and significantly cheaper. A great great business phone.

    Anyway it works for my business.

    1. jgarbo Bronze badge
      Paris Hilton

      You mean it's better than your previous older iPhone. Why the euphoria? Shouldn't it be?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Well my work replaced my work DTek with some cheap Sony Xperia L3, it blew me away!

        3-4 day battery for a work device, on zero touch MDM (I admit its false advertising, I have to at least press Skip!) and its cheap (Couldn't really give a crap about anything else, only use it to be woken in the night by Helldesk and check work emails).

    2. A K Stiles Silver badge
      Holmes

      Weirdly, I also just replaced my old phone (Note 3) with a new one (Note 9). Every single one of those is also better on my new phone than the old one too.

      I never bothered with a tablet as the phone works for basic consumption and the laptop for actually doing stuff!

  5. jgarbo Bronze badge

    Only one in town is best?

    Business colleague bought an iPhone 11, meh, then for fun bought a (cheaper) Huawei Mate Pro 30. He kept the Huawei and gave the iPhone to his little daughter. "No f**king comparison. iPhone's dead." And he's a very patriotic American...

    1. Another User

      Re: Only one in town is best?

      Well if your business colleague lives within China then yes.

      But for the rest of the world? There are no google services available.

      That means no SatNav as Google Maps, no Here, etc. Maybe TomTom is coming at the end of the year.

      If he needs other business applications then he may also be searching in vain.

      So he has bought a great hardware without having software for now.

  6. Graham 6
    Facepalm

    Nah, I'll stick to my trusty XDA

    So... for less than the price of a replacement screen, I got a decent brand new Android phone (dual SIM, quad core, 2GB RAM, 16GB store) comes with protective gel case, screen protector, charger and earphones.

    Yes, I can do video editing too.

    For the price of just an 11 handset I can have 3 of these and 3 years of unlimited everything and still have enough left over for a few weeks worth of Lattes.

    No ... I'm not seeing the value.

    I've bought cars for less.

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