How many of you (or, more specifically, the general public) will be using an iPhone when the smartphone market is fully saturated? Analyst Horace Dediu is saying the answer will be 68 percent.
In a blog post published by Asymco, Dediu analyzes the smartphone-buying trends over recent years as a way of trying to predict where things will end up when the technology reaches saturation point (defined as 90 percent penetration). Here is, in part, what he has to say:
An alternative is to use the following formula derived from the linear interpolation of the two measured market shares. iPhone market share is y/(1+y) where y=0.21x and x = F/(1-F) and F is the expected market penetration of smartphones.
So if F = 91%, x = 10, y = 2.11 and therefore the iPhone market share = 68%.
We also know from the plot of the market that F = .91 is reached around February 2017. So we can suggest that at 90% penetration (approximately saturation) the iPhone will have 68% market share of users in the US. Forecasting the addressable market (US population aged older than 13) at about 266 million that implies 180 million US users of the iPhone by early 2017.
While Dediu doesn’t give us all of the data he used to come up with his numbers — and a lot can change in a few years (as Blackberry’s decline has shown) — owning the lion’s share of the U.S. smartphone market would obviously be great news for Apple. More interestingly, however, is the point that Forbes contributor Tim Worstall picks up regarding the story: the assumption that smartphone saturation will occur by the year 2017.
“[T]he remarkable thing about this is that the smartphone won’t even be ten years old by that point. Yes, the first real smartphone (there were attempts before this but nothing that really grasped peoples’ attention) was indeed the iPhone and it was released in 2007. But not until June: so if market saturation comes in Feb 2017 then market saturation will come in just under a decade.
And that is just amazing, stupendous in fact. It makes the smartphone by far the fastest adopted technology ever. The only one that comes anywhere close is the closely related cell phone. As an example it took at least 50 years for electrification to achieve full penetration of the market.”
It’s kudos to Apple either way, really.