Stand Back! iOS Market Share Is About to Explode!

Gold 5S and 5C

Everybody likes whining about Apple. The company doesn’t innovate anymore, critics say. Their new phones are boring, the same old wine in a line of colorful new bottles. The “S” releases are always just tweaks of yesterday’s iPhone, and are not fundamentally different. Android phones dominate global market share, and have caught up to and zoomed past Apple in every relevant way.

The naysayers can say nay all they want: Apple’s iOS market share numbers are about to explode like an iPhone 5 plugged in with a cheap Chinese charger.

America Loves iPhone

It’s a telling fact that iOS is already stealing market share from all other players in United States and the only mobile platform that’s growing marketshare in this country.

How can this be?

The analyst firm comScore this week issued a report on mobile platform market share in the United States for the three-month period ending in July, Their shocking finding: Only iOS grew during that period.

According to the comScore numbers, Android declined in this period by .2 percent, BlackBerry went down by .8 percent, Microsoft’s share stayed even, neither growing nor shrinking and Symbian declined by .2 percent. (In other news, Symbian still exists.)

Yet during this time, iOS actually grew by 1.2 percent — the same amount the others declined.

This is shocking news because iOS was the only mobile platform to have no new products announced or shipped during that period or in the months preceding this period. The last iPhone and iPad was announced a fricken year ago! Yet so many months later, the iOS platform is taking market share away from Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian platforms — all of which have announced major new products in the interim.

If Apple’s old product is beating the mobile platforms with new products in the United States, wait until Apple has new products.

The New iPhones are Designed to Thrill China

As I wrote in a column on another site, both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C lines are designed to thrill China. And thrill they will.

One third of all smartphones in the entire world are sold to Chinese consumers. It’s a huge market.

Chinese consumers want one of two things out of a smartphone — either high status or low price. And they’re pretty hardcore about both extremes. There are smartphones in China that go for thousands of dollars, and wealthy Chinese buyers snap them up. On the other hand, there are Android smartphones that sell for $80 unlocked and less. It’s a crazy market. And it’s a hostile market for the likes of Apple, which sells its one, high-quality phone for a high but reasonable price — no insane luxury model, no bare-bones, stripped-down plastic model for the low end.

Apple’s special and unprecedented rollout in Beijing Wednesday (September 11) will see the unveiling of two tiers of iPhone — a status-oriented model and a budget model. No, these models won’t tickle the extremes. But they will give China a little more of what it craves.

Specifically, the gold-colored iPhone 5S will be viewed as a somewhat affordable luxury item and status symbol for dozens of millions of Chinese consumers who crave such a phone. And the plastic-backed iPhone 5C model will throw a bone to the budget consumer who doesn’t want to spend as much but still wants a quality, well-known brand.

The big picture is that the new iPhones are designed to dramatically crank up market share for Apple in China.

China Mobile Will Drive China Sales Through the Roof

China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile carrier by far, and the only one in China that does not carry the iPhone.

That company’s 740 million subscriber accounts (no, that’s not a typo) have been craving iPhones for some time, though denied authorized iPhone accounts on that carrier because Apple and China Mobile could never reach an agreement, despite years of trying.

I believe it to be a near certainty that Apple will announce a carrier relationship with China Mobile Wednesday. It’s possible that this new business relationship could double China market share numbers in a very short period of time.

NTT DoCoMo Will Drive Sales In Japan, Too

NTT DoCoMo, co-owned by the Japanese government, is the China Mobile of Japan. It has more than half of the lucrative and active Japanese mobile market. Yet they’ve never offered the iPhone.

Reports coming out of Japan suggest that Apple and DoCoMo have reached an agreement to sell iPhones on the carrier.

DoCoMo has 53 million customers. That sounds small compared with China Mobile’s gargantuan numbers. But remember, this is Japan we’re talking about. Everybody’s got a smartphone — feature phones are very rare in Japan, unlike China where half the mobile phone carrying phones carries feature phones.

The NTT DoCoMo deal will provide a huge boost to Japanese iPhone sales and market share.

The World Gets An Affordable iPhone At Last

Globally, hundreds of millions of users will be moving over the next year from dumb feature phones to smart smarphones. Apple created the iPhone 5C for these new customers. It’s an entry-level iPhone with a plastic back and a lower price tag.

The iPhone 5C will push Apple and iOS into entirely new markets and market segments.

When you add up all these radical changes, it’s a no-brainer that Apple’s iOS market share numbers are about to explode in unprecedented growth.

Related
  • Alfiejr

    the real question of import that you ask but don’t answer, ME, is WHY the iPhone is doing so well in the USA market.

    i don’t know either. it’s really a surprise given all the Android loving American hipsters posting all over the web all the time. nearly all men, btw.

    obviously it’s not about “features” or price. the big Apple ecosystem must account for some of this, but i think really after all it’s maybe that iOS is just simpler to use for most. fewer choices to make, less customizing needed for the most common functions, more “just works” popular uses. plenty of your friends know how to use them too when you have an issue, and there is always a handy Apple store with free help when needed.

    i’d like to see the gender split data. i suspect women are definitely the majority of iPhone users.

  • Alfiejr

    ok, one more good reason i forgot – iOS/Apple ecosystem “stickiness.” once you are set up with iTunes and many iOS apps – especially if you have an iPod/iPad too – switching to another platform is a big nuisance that average folks just don’t want to bother with unless they have too. it’s much easier to move your favorite/necessary Google/MS Exchange services to iOS than move any Apple stuff to other platforms (mostly, you can’t, you have to reconstruct them all via other apps).

    so consumer platform switching, for whatever reason, should consistently tend in Apple’s favor net-net for this reason alone. which is what we are seeing …

    it will be very interesting to see the impact of iOS 7 on the US market. it catches up with the remaining popular Android features iOS lacks, and extends the Apple ecosystem. if it has a killer popular new feature – like universal fingerprint passwords – it could really take off.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Innovative or not, Apple makes some very nice products and provides very good customer service. It’s said that their products are no better than any other company’s products but Apple products do win J.D. Power awards again and again. This should mean something to consumers. I’m sure the new iPhone won’t have some of the hardware or features the latest high-end Android smartphones have, but why should that really matter. For consumers wanting to use iOS, iPhones and iPads are the only game in town. I know the tech people are going to go out of their way to call the new iPhones boring and nothing special, however, Apple will undoubtedly break all previous iPhone sales records this year. Apple is the wealthiest company on the planet by market cap and their reserve cash pile is taller than Mt. Everest. The iHaters can rant and rave all they want about how Apple products are crap, but Apple will continue to make money faster than it can spend it.

  • aardman

    There is a difference between “percent” and “percentage points”. The numbers you enumerated were changes in percentage points, saying they are percent changes understates their true magnitude.

  • KTGHowie

    Let’s not jump the gun just yet. Apple has not announced anything, and until they do, all of this is mere speculation.

  • Gadget

    So the “C” in 5C does mean China. Makes sense now.

  • adamoutler

    Author, get your facts straight. Apple is struggling and android is on the rise. http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201208-201308

  • Gadget

    Author, get your facts straight. Apple is struggling and android is on the rise. http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201208-201308

    You pick a version of Android and I’ll pick iOS 6. I’ll tell you right now that it won’t even be close.

  • Bulldogger123

    So the “C” in 5C does mean China. Makes sense now.

    It means Color I am almost sure, but hey!

  • Dew_Whut

    Author, get your facts straight. Apple is struggling and android is on the rise. http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201208-201308

    I think its more likely that you need to re-read the article and get your comprehension straight; particularly the part that you’re trying to argue against. The author made it very clear that he was speaking about the statistics in the United States – not the entire world (which is what the graphic that you linked to its showing).

  • m46z

    So, now they want to thrill China.. There is a flaw logic in that. Apple WILL NOT sell in China. Reason being?
    1. Does Apple ready to give up his iOS source code? Because first, China does their custom ROM. Even Android does not safe from their little crafty hands. Remmeber MIUI? They whack android, and create their own ROM. They even change some of android base code. Can apple live with that? Then there is another problem. China does not allow other people’s business into theirs. Even Android market apps are replaced by their own China store. No iTunes application can be installed in China iPhone, no app store, and iPhone must be separated from their iTunes. Can Apple do that?
    2. Price. What? $400? Xiaomi sold iPhone 5 class hardware at $400. What makes you think they will buy inferior product at the same price point? And Xiaomi is a high end manufacturer. Think about Huawei. They sell for less less than $200 for quad Core 1.4Ghz Cortex A9. Can Apple match that?
    3. Hijacking. Apple as far as I know are very offended by people who hijack their property, even their design. Does Apple ready to get their icons and codes being used by low end chinese manufacturer? And don’t bother law court.. China will always let their people win. Nobody outside china can win any suit against china company in china.

  • m46z

    How can you post without me pressing post button?

    Anyway, how about Japan??
    Simple said, Japan is NFC ridden country. They use NFC in EVERY SINGLE CORNER. Their vending machine, their love hotel, a lot of thing depends on NFC. They prefer to their provider to pay for them via their NFC, then charge them later on their phone bill. Does iPhone 5C have that? Considering iPhone 5C is a stripped down iPhone 5, I guess not. And considering some sites pointed out that their design does not allow for NFC communication, iPhone will be as phone only device in Japan that Japanese despises.

    And regarding that S releases, if they really are yesterday iPhone’s tweaks, Where is my pressure sensitive stylus? Where is my NFC reader and writer? Where is my Full HD screen? Where is my DLNA? Where is my SMB compatible File Sharing? Where is my Bluetooth file transfer? How can I transfer ANY document to my iPhone as my mobile storage device? Where is my cloud sync? No, I don’t talk about iCloud. I am talking about Google Drive or SkyDrive scale, where I can sync ANYTHING without requiring any backup anymore. And lastly, where is my multiple accounts? I prefer to have my facebook pictures synced with my address book, and let me read their twitter messages, while I can share everything through everything I have on my account page. And last but not least, where is my multi window? I prefer to watch my movie while I can reply to my incoming message. It’s not good to have a simple text such as “yes, in 10 minutes” would interrupt my movie experience.

    And finally, THIS IS MY PHONE, AND I BOUGHT IT. Once I paid it, it is not Apple’s. I want to do ANYTHING I like for my owned and paid phone.

  • Paul Burt

    How can you post without me pressing post button?

    Anyway, how about Japan??
    Simple said, Japan is NFC ridden country. They use NFC in EVERY SINGLE CORNER. Their vending machine, their love hotel, a lot of thing depends on NFC. They prefer to their provider to pay for them via their NFC, then charge them later on their phone bill. Does iPhone 5C have that? Considering iPhone 5C is a stripped down iPhone 5, I guess not. And considering some sites pointed out that their design does not allow for NFC communication, iPhone will be as phone only device in Japan that Japanese despises.

    And regarding that S releases, if they really are yesterday iPhone’s tweaks, Where is my pressure sensitive stylus? Where is my NFC reader and writer? Where is my Full HD screen? Where is my DLNA? Where is my SMB compatible File Sharing? Where is my Bluetooth file transfer? How can I transfer ANY document to my iPhone as my mobile storage device? Where is my cloud sync? No, I don’t talk about iCloud. I am talking about Google Drive or SkyDrive scale, where I can sync ANYTHING without requiring any backup anymore. And lastly, where is my multiple accounts? I prefer to have my facebook pictures synced with my address book, and let me read their twitter messages, while I can share everything through everything I have on my account page. And last but not least, where is my multi window? I prefer to watch my movie while I can reply to my incoming message. It’s not good to have a simple text such as “yes, in 10 minutes” would interrupt my movie experience.

    And finally, THIS IS MY PHONE, AND I BOUGHT IT. Once I paid it, it is not Apple’s. I want to do ANYTHING I like for my owned and paid phone.

    Do you feel better now that you got that out of your system?

    Now crawl back under your bridge.

  • m46z

    Do you feel better now that you got that out of your system?

    Now crawl back under your bridge.

    Lol… in some forum, this is called junkers… a one liner that contributes nothing.
    Well, unlike you, I don’t have bridge to crawl anymore.. Sky is my limit now ;)

  • m46z
    Author, get your facts straight. Apple is struggling and android is on the rise. http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201208-201308

    I think its more likely that you need to re-read the article and get your comprehension straight; particularly the part that you’re trying to argue against. The author made it very clear that he was speaking about the statistics in the United States – not the entire world (which is what the graphic that you linked to its showing).

    Then, what about that chinese and japanese market mentioned in this article? Does it refer to chinese towns and little tokyo areas in united states?

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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