Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:38 UTC
Apple

I've been thinking a bit more about those iPhone 5C/5S weekend sales figures, and while it is certainly impressive, if you compare it to the iPhone 5's first weekend sales figures, it's actually quite a step backwards for Apple. The issue here - something many sites and even Apple itself doesn't want to focus on - is that the iPhone 5C/5S is available to a lot more people than the iPhone 5 was.

The iPhone 5 was available to 720 million people at launch, and sold 5 million units. This is a penetration of 0.69%. The iPhone 5C and 5S, however, are available to 2078 million people, and sold 9 million units, which constitutes a penetration of 0.43%. So, Apple has two new models to advertise and lure consumers with instead of one, and has a huge additional market (China) to address, yet it failed to capitalise on either of these two factors.

What this shows is that while the sales figure is still pretty darn impressive, it's not nearly as groundbreaking if you put it in perspective. Looking at it this way, the so-called record breaking 9 million figure can easily be explained away by Apple almost tripling its launch weekend audience, instead of an increasing popularity of the iPhone.

The only reason I'm writing this is to illustrate how numbers are entirely arbitrary, and it's easy to make silly comparisons and claim an arbitrary victory - or, change perspective a bit and claim arbitrary defeat, as I've done here.

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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 25th Sep 2013 17:07 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

The only reason I'm writing this is to illustrate how numbers are entirely arbitrary, and it's easy to make silly comparisons and claim an arbitrary victory - or, change perspective a bit and claim arbitrary defeat, as I've done here.


It's not enough to criticize numbers that lack perspective if you make absolutely no attempt to provide some perspective. However, I have done just that.

It's not right to equate all of 1.3 billion people to the ~750 million that live in the other launch countries, as far as consumerism is concerned, because there are many in China that are rather poor, or spend their money on less consumer-oriented items, compared to the other launch countries. By including everybody in each country as a potential customer, the only prerequisite for buying an iPhone at launch is "Capable of Breathing."

That's a poor prerequisite. I have chosen a better one: Car ownership. I think car ownership is a much better criteria than "Capable of breathing". I'm just making an assumption that the majority of people who bought an iPhone at launch own a car, but I think it's safe to assume that most people that can't afford to own car wont' spend their money on an iPhone.

Using that, here are the car-ownership stats for the launch countries, minus China:

US 254,212,610
AU 16,261,560
CAN 21,172,160
FR 37,974,600
GER 46,841,080
JAP 75,411,600
PR 2,328,545
UK 32,816,370
Sing* 2,452,800
HK* 3,093,000

Now, a couple caveats to those numbers. First, due to it's high density, Singapore has tight restrictions on car ownership. Hong Kong does not restrict ownership, but it's ownership rate is half that of Singapore. For those reasons, I adjusted their numbers to 60% ownership (Which is still lower than most of the countries), then subtracted 1 million and 1.4 million from Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively. Car ownership is lower in densely populated areas, since public transportation systems tend to be more effective.

Back to the numbers: This means a total of 492,564,325 cars are owned in the launch countries.

Where does China stand? Well, China has a per capita car ownership rate of 8.5%, so that turns into 114,835,000 vehicles, which increases the number of car-owning consumers in launch countries by 23%.

So, for a 23% increase in potential customers, Apple nearly doubled their iPhone launch sales compared to the iPhone 5.

That is very successful. Apple should be applauded.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by unclefester on Thu 26th Sep 2013 09:34 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

An absurd argument. Most Australian 13-15 year olds have smartphones [often top of the range models]. None have cars [or drivers licences.]

Reply Parent Score: 3