Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2018 19:33 UTC
Apple

It's iPhone launch day today, which I would usually greet with some meditation on the expected features or design of the new device and how it fits into the wider competitive field. This year, however, I want to zoom out rather than in. Because no matter how much or how little the iPhone changes today, no matter how awful its new naming scheme, we can all be certain that Apple will sell tens of millions of its 2018 iteration before the year is through. It's this apparent inevitability to Apple's commercial success that I find fascinating.

The only danger the iPhone can run into at this stage is a sudden collapse in its perceived coolness factor among the general public - but barring anything unforeseen, I don't see that happening any time soon. We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come.

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Never owned on
by Ressev on Wed 12th Sep 2018 21:01 UTC
Ressev
Member since:
2005-07-18

I have avoided iPhones. I like Apple's iPad and the iTouch before that, but found I could get what I wanted out of cell phones for less cost with other carriers and android phones.

Why? I am a bit of a component minded person, I pay for a landline, DSL, and cell phone. I have my technologies separate from each other when and where I can so that if one goes wonky I can still use the rest.

Reply Score: 5

No
by Sodki on Wed 12th Sep 2018 22:35 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

Never bought one, never will.

But to add something constructive to the conversation, the answer is still "no". People don't need to buy new iPhones every year, but even if they only buy replacements every 5 years it still means there are millions of people that need to buy a new phone every year. So no, we will never stop buying smartphones - not until we start calling them by another name.

Same thing happened with desktops and laptops: every year the technology leaped and buying a new one gave us new advancements. Then they became good enough to last a couple of years, a decade or even more. But eventually they'll need to be replaced, so the cycle restarts, albeit slower.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No
by zima on Thu 13th Sep 2018 23:56 UTC in reply to "No"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I call them simply "phones" (not even "cell" or "mobile" - they're more popular than landline phones ever were) for quite a while...

Reply Score: 2

Will we ever get tired of drinking Coke?
by sergio on Wed 12th Sep 2018 23:28 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think so...

BTW Apple's lost any possibility of market disruption, it's not a disruptive company anymore. Tim keeps releasing the same products over and over again, even the keynotes are dull and standard. Not cool anymore.

Reply Score: 2

a load of bollocks
by unclefester on Thu 13th Sep 2018 02:18 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

What a load of US-centric BS. The iPhone share of new smartphone sales peaked at 23% seven years ago (Q4 2011). Since then it has halved to just 12% (Q2 18).

https://www.statista.com/statistics/216459/global-market-share-of-ap...

The iPhone is almost totally reliant on carrier subsidies (~USD400 per device) and lock in contracts to to maintain market share. In countries where prepaid phones are the norm Apple has negligible market share.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: a load of bollocks
by ksec on Thu 13th Sep 2018 05:21 UTC in reply to "a load of bollocks"
RE[2]: a load of bollocks
by unclefester on Thu 13th Sep 2018 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE: a load of bollocks"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

1. Mate you need to dig up some numbers into usage share. ( Hint: it shows a vastly different picture )

2. Carriers contact and locked in concerns has been overblown and shows no signs of problem to iPhone ecosystem. And one reason why Apple has its own iPhone upgrade program in case anyone needs financing.


iPhone sales peaked in Q1 2016. The current usage is simply showing past sales history. Usage rates will plummet as older phones are removed from service over the next 2-3 years.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/263401/global-apple-iphone-sales...


The fact is that Apples share of the new phone market is rapidly shrinking. [It is the Mac story being repeated.]

The iPhone business is barely profitable without carrier subsidies.

The fact that prices are increasing shows that Apple is desperately trying to retain revenue. [It is an old trick widely used in the Veblen goods industry.]

Edited 2018-09-13 09:29 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Wasteful
by marcoburatto on Thu 13th Sep 2018 08:08 UTC
marcoburatto
Member since:
2018-06-07

> We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come...

...as an example of how to waste money.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wasteful
by avgalen on Thu 13th Sep 2018 09:35 UTC in reply to "Wasteful"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come...

Not at all. I have always compared to other way around:
* Ah, iPhone got 4G this year, just like all the other Android phones had for 2 years
* Ah, iPhone finally went bigger bigger bigger bigger (4", 5.2", 5,8", 6.5"), just like all the other Android phones for the last few years (always being behind)
* Ah, iPhone finally gets OLED screens, just like high-end Samsung (and other) phones
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a good screen-2-body ration...
* Ah, iPhone finally gets > 16 GB by default...
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a decent selfie-camera.
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a decent battery.

(maybe in the next 2 years we will get multi-window apps, USB-C, "desktop-dock", pencil-support, mouse-support)
iPhone popularizes many things that have been available on the Android side and then they pick-and-choose the ones that people like and ignore the things that people ignored (modularity)

The whole thing about iPhones is that they are the only phones running iOS, only Apple makes them, and there are a very limited number of models (there used to be only 1 per year, then 2, then 3. All of that makes it easy to say "so lets take the iPhone as the base and compare everything else to it"

Reply Score: 5

it's getting boring
by phti on Thu 13th Sep 2018 08:20 UTC
phti
Member since:
2012-06-02

iphone competitors haven't, in more than 10 years, been able to ship something that stands against it, they're always trying to catch up in performance, design (the notch copycat frenzy is just the last ridiculous effort) and quality of materials. I won't mention OS because there is much more space for personal taste (both are now perfectly fine) but on the hardware (and hardware/software integration, in which Apple really shines) it's embarrassing and extremely boring that there's never really been a competitor on quality.

Edited 2018-09-13 08:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: it's getting boring
by birdie on Thu 13th Sep 2018 09:30 UTC in reply to "it's getting boring"
birdie Member since:
2014-07-15

Yes, nothing comes close to the lack of basic usability in iPhones, devices made solely for media consumption: http://itvision.altervista.org/why-iphones-and-ipads-suck.html

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: it's getting boring
by phti on Thu 13th Sep 2018 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE: it's getting boring"
phti Member since:
2012-06-02

a 2014 blog post on altervista, certainly an authoritative source.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: it's getting boring
by birdie on Fri 14th Sep 2018 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: it's getting boring"
birdie Member since:
2014-07-15

Since I refuse to pay for hosting or use services like blogger/wordpress then all my content is invalid by default? Wow. You may remove the crown from your head.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: it's getting boring
by viton on Fri 14th Sep 2018 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: it's getting boring"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Since I refuse to pay for hosting or use services like blogger/wordpress then all my content is invalid by default?

Just by looking at URL it is clear what type of content is here - aggressive fanboish bullshit:
iOS broken brain damaged flat user interface made in 80s for 8bit displays

So you hate Winphones too?

Edited 2018-09-14 03:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: it's getting boring
by Vistaus on Thu 13th Sep 2018 09:56 UTC in reply to "it's getting boring"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

Another uninformed user. For the last time: Apple was the one that stole the notch from the Essential phone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: it's getting boring
by zima on Thu 13th Sep 2018 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE: it's getting boring"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't you know? It's a proud tradition to claim that Apple invented everything...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: it's getting boring
by viton on Fri 14th Sep 2018 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE: it's getting boring"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Another uninformed user. For the last time: Apple was the one that stole the notch from the Essential phone.

Not so fast, my "informed" friend. Sharp Aquos S2 was first.
Anyway there is a big difference between dumb camera and Face ID. Basically they "stole" technology from Kinect (PrimeSense was bought by Apple in 2013)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: it's getting boring
by Vistaus on Fri 14th Sep 2018 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: it's getting boring"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

Okay, so they stole it from Sharp then. Still means that the person I quoted was uninformed as Apple didn't invent the notch.

Reply Score: 2

RE: it's getting boring
by avgalen on Thu 13th Sep 2018 10:22 UTC in reply to "it's getting boring"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

iphone competitors haven't, in more than 10 years, been able to ship something that stands against it, they're always trying to catch up in performance, design (the notch copycat frenzy is just the last ridiculous effort) and quality of materials.

Apple only makes flagship phones, so of course you should expect their performance, design and quality to be best. For CPU/GPU and storage performance you would be right, but their limited memory capacity means they often have to reload apps that were still in memory on other phones resulting in never getting topscores in reallife benchmarks.
Their design has been behind other flagships for many years, just like their quality of materials. Last year they only switched to OLED and "bezelless" for 1 model while Samsung had much better screens for years while also having no side-bezels. Apple is always among the top, but never really the top while they are by far the most expensive phone (especially outside of the US)

Every phone is always trying to catch up to many others in many aspects. Nobody has the best camera, screen, performance, design, material, etc at the same time. Every phone is a big bag of compromises with price and shipdate as big factors. Of course it is possible that at any point in time for the last 10 years the that-time iPhone was the best according to your needs

Reply Score: 4

Never bought them in the first place
by birdie on Thu 13th Sep 2018 09:29 UTC
birdie
Member since:
2014-07-15

The iPhone Excess Max equals three of my monthly salaries. Sorry, Thom, the whole world doesn't revolve around the countries like yours. Most people in the world cannot make ends meet and new iPhones are the least of their concerns.

Reply Score: 3

Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

I live in the same country as Thom and I barely make ends meet, so I couldn't afford an iPhone X at all (not that I even want an iPhone, but still).

Reply Score: 2

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

The iPhone Excess Max equals three of my monthly salaries.

There are $1500 Android phones. You can't afford them as well. What is your point?
iPhone SE costs 16k rubles ($235) in Moscow. Everyone can buy it.
Still it is faster than any Android phone except latest 2018 top models

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

$235 is still a lots of money to most people in the world. You can get a new Android phone for less than $50.

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The iPhone SE is ancient, slow and has a small crappy screen. It is basically a 2012 vintage iPhone 5 with a faster processor. It would be overpriced at $150.

In Australia an iPhone SE costs AUD549-699. That is around the same price range as vastly superior phones like the Nokia 7 Plus, Galaxy A8, Oppo R15 Plus and LG G6.

Edited 2018-09-15 03:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

We're not buying them though
by Soulbender on Thu 13th Sep 2018 11:03 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Android's market share is ~75%
IOS market share is ~20%


Yeah, "we" are not buying iPhones.

Reply Score: 5

RE: We're not buying them though
by marcoburatto on Thu 13th Sep 2018 14:50 UTC in reply to "We're not buying them though"
marcoburatto Member since:
2018-06-07

According to various web resources, iOS market share in Q2 2018 is lower than 12%.
This is a niche OS market share.

Reply Score: 3

Latest and greatest
by Isolationist on Thu 13th Sep 2018 18:44 UTC
Isolationist
Member since:
2006-05-28

I use to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year, but now they are just way too expensive and don't offer much in the way of new features that I am interested in. Perfectly happy with my iPhone 7 plus. I will probably update my phone every 3-4 years now.

Reply Score: 3