Wednesday, 27 January 2016

I've been Predicting this for a few years

From The BBC:

Apple has reported the slowest growth in iPhone sales since the product's 2007 launch and warned sales will fall for the first time later this year.

The US tech giant sold 74.8 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter, compared with 74.5 million a year ago.

Apple said revenue for the next quarter would be between $50bn (£34bn; €46bn) and $53bn, below the $58bn it reported for the same period a year ago.

This would mark Apple's first fall in revenues since it launched the iPhone.

The smartphone is pretty much done. I've got a HTC One that is nearly 2 years old, and there's nothing compelling about any upgrades to it. So, the phones are pretty much a mature tech, like PCs and cars and bicycles. Yes, they'll be minor improvements, but the big changes are done. It's like how cars are a bit more efficient over where they were in the 80s, but that's nothing like the leap from the 1950s.

It also means that there's a ton of cheap, capable phones now. The Moto X is a great phone for £200. OK, not as good as an iPhone 6, but for most people they'd see what it does and declare it good enough. Can Apple keep on selling £500 phones if the £200 ones are good enough?


knirirr said...

If the iPhone is a Veblen good, as I have seen suggested, then they should be able to keep the price high, at least for some models. Presumably they will introduce some budget ones as well, not that I'll be buying any until they come with an unlockable bootloader.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well yes, but what pisses me off is when somebody perfects a product, sells it for a few years and then simply stops making it.

I'm thinking of Sagemcom HD recorder boxes (the newer versions are shit), Sony earphones with volume control and of course Apple iPod Classics.

Mark Wadsworth said...

As to mobile phones, the best ones are Nokia 110s.

knirirr said...

Concerning the Nokia 110 and the like, I'd never been interested in mobile phones until decent smartphones appeared. A computer in one's pocket is very useful to me but a telephone is only something that's worth having for emergencies - they weren't even any good for SMS due to the horrid keyboards.

I'm amused that this item has been invented for those who hold the opposite position.

The Stigler said...

It's partly a Veblen good. I'd say that Macs are frequently Veblen goods. That blogger in a cafe could do what he's doing just fine with a £400 PC. And Macs are something like 10% of the market. The problem when you're as big as iPhone is that it's no longer Veblen. If lots of people have them, the "showing off" factor wears off.

We have a Humax from John Lewis as our Freeview recorder, which is great. iPod classics? I just use my phone now, but there are still MP3 players filling the same slot - and you just use an SD card for storage.

As for actual phones, part of the problem is the whole focus is that everything but the phone. Someone pointed out that Apple making iPods thinner means that the speaker on the phones sucks. I know a company that does emergency callout that uses that sort of phone for the guys on their rota because they're better phones, more likely to get a signal etc.

Bayard said...

"more likely to get a signal"

A piece of data that for which it is almost impossible to make comparisons between phones, as no manufacturer seems to publish it, yet, in the country, it is one of the most important features of a 'phone.

knirirr said...

If lots of people have them, the "showing off" factor wears off.

To some extent, though IIRC the percentage of Android and iOS device sales is something along the lines of 80% and 15% globally. The numbers sold are enormous, indeed, but those who have them could conceivably imagine themselves to be in some sort of elite minority of smartphone users.

This and this suggest that there may be something like that going on.