Electronics Production | September 04, 2007
iPhone Becomes Leading U.S. Smart Phone
Apple Inc.'s iPhone outsold all smart phones in the United States during July, and equaled the sales of the most popular feature phone, according to iSuppli Corp. The iPhone accounted for 1.8 percent of all mobile-handset unit sales to U.S. consumers during July.
Most iPhone purchasers in July were male, 35 years of age or younger and possessed a four-year college degree or more. Strong early consumer uptake conforms with iSuppli's forecast of 4.5 million iPhones shipping in 2007, rising to more than 30 million units in 2011. iPhone is already a success Just one month after it debuted, Apple Inc.'s iPhone achieved sales that exceeded those of the top-selling smart phone and that equaled those of the most popular feature phone, according to iSuppli. iSuppli's U.S. Consumer Panel Survey revealed the two models of the iPhone now on the market outsold all smart phones in July, including the Blackberry series, the entire Palm portfolio, and any individual Motorola, Nokia, Samsung or other smart phone model from a branded service provider. The iPhone's U.S. sales in July were equal to those of the most popular feature phone, LG's Chocolate. iSuppli classifies the iPhone as a crossover phone, with attributes that put it in competition both with smart phones and with feature phones. While the iPhone has some features associated with smart phones, users cannot load third-party software onto the product, which is a key requirement to qualify for smart-phone status. iSuppli defines feature phones as handsets that have rich functionality. July fireworks for Apple This is a remarkable accomplishment for Apple, considering that July marked the first full month of sales for the iPhone. While iSuppli has not collected historical information on this topic, it's likely that the speed of the iPhone's rise to competitive dominance in its segment is unprecedented in the history of the mobile-handset market. The two iPhone models on sale in July accounted for 1.8 percent of all mobile-handset unit sales to U.S. customers during the month. While the speed of the iPhone's ascent to the top of the smart-phone and feature-phone charts is remarkable, it's equally amazing that Apple achieved this in the face of numerous, well-entrenched competitors. iPhone demographics iSuppli's U.S. Consumer Panel Survey also revealed other facts about American iPhone purchasers, including: - Approximately 57 percent of iPhones bought in July were purchased by U.S. consumers 35 years of age or younger. - Most iPhone buyers were men in July, with 52 percent of purchasers being male and 48 percent female. - Nearly two-thirds, or 62 percent, of iPhone buyers in July had a four-college degree or more education. - One quarter of consumers who bought iPhones switched to AT&T service. AT&T is the exclusive provider of service for the iPhone. The long-term outlook Some of the iPhone's success in July can be attributed to pent-up demand following months of hype. Real proof of success will come in the coming months as demand patterns stabilize. Based on consumer demand, Apple's brand image, industry anticipation and iSuppli's estimates of volume shipments by manufacturers and the market segment, iSuppli is maintaining its projection that 4.5 million iPhones will ship in 2007, rising to more than 30 million units in 2011, as presented in the figure below. About iSuppli's U.S. Consumer Panel Survey iSuppli's U.S. Consumer Panel Survey is conducted on-line monthly using a continually refreshed panel of more than 2 million participants in the United States. The samples are census-balanced and are validity-checked using iSuppli's proprietary databases and algorithms. A range of who bought, what, where, how, and why information is gathered and analyzed on a variety of consumer electronics products.