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

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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RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:

For comparison Motorola is shipping 100,000 Moto X phones per week, a somewhat slow start for the long-awaited phone.

Here you go again.

The Moto X is only available in the US and Canada. That's it. 350 million people. Comparing that to a phone available to more than 2 billion people is disingenuous - which is exactly my point, because my numbers here are just as arbitrary and ridiculous, as I clearly state myself.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by jared_wilkes on Wed 25th Sep 2013 19:08 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
jared_wilkes Member since:

The point is: Apple continues to be restrained by market access and production capacity, but they are successful.

Motorola has been such a failure that they are even more restrained by market access and production capacity.

In other words, why is it bad if Apple's getting new growth from new market access, but it's good (or at least not open to criticism) that Motorola doesn't have the means or capacity to address a larger market? Moreover, you spend an awful lot of time trying to argue that you don't know if Apple is successful or not. Is the same true of others? Relative to others, can it be said that Apple is successful?

Trying to wave your hands and claim you can't say anything about anyone is foolish and just plain wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Sep 2013 19:43 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Tony Swash Member since:

The Moto X is only available in the US and Canada. That's it. 350 million people..

I guess Motorola should get a bit of a move on then ;)

There was an interesting interview with Eric Jackson from Forbes at Ben Thomson's excellent Stratechery site today.

This is a pertinent excerpt.

The iPhone was in many ways a once-in-a-generation business opportunity: carriers are paying Apple handsomely to disrupt the personal computer business, just because Apple’s product happens to have an app that makes phone calls. Oh, and that product is one that is a necessity for almost every person on earth. It’s difficult to imagine a more lucrative opportunity, and fair to question how Apple can grow from such a large profit baseline (then again, it was hard to imagine a better business opportunity than levying a massive tax on every single computer just as computers became a necessity for every business and home, i.e. the Microsoft model, yet it turned out even better opportunities existed).

What’s not justified is the assumption that iPhone sales are going to suddenly collapse in the face of lower-cost, “good-enough” Android-based phones. This sort of thinking is primarily the provence of analysts with their roots in PCs who witnessed the race to the bottom among Windows OEM’s, and it ignores that the PC market was primarily driven by businesses, where the buyers were not the users, and thus highly focused on price. The iPhone, on the other hand, along with all of Apple’s products, competes for consumers, and every other consumer sector offers evidence that there is a sizable portion of consumers who make purchase decisions for more reasons than just price. Apple, with their focus on the user experience, has always been a consumer company, and in a lot of ways their success over the past decade is a result of consumers embracing technology just like businesses did in the 80s and 90s. The right company, in the right place, at the right time with the right product.

Reply Parent Score: 2