1. Caymancroc's Avatar
    AAPL Orchard | iPhone Accounted for Nearly 40% of U.S. Smartphone Sales in 3Q11


    iPhone Accounted for Nearly 40% of U.S. Smartphone Sales in 3Q11
    Nielsenís third quarter survey of mobile users seemed to reaffirm what many have been saying; Android continues to grab more smartphone market share, with 43% U.S. share compared to iPhoneís 28%. This morning, I thought a little bit more about Nielsenís data and something just didnít seem right.

    Since I follow AT&Tís and Verizonís quarterly earnings, I recalled how AT&Tís most recent report indicated iPhone accounted for approximately 60% of AT&Tís smartphone sales. *How was it possible that iPhone has less than 30% overall smartphone share in the U.S., while iPhone share at AT&T (the carrier with the highest smartphone penetration rate) is over 60%? *After collecting a few more data points and running with conservative assumptions, I estimate that iPhone accounted for close to 40% of U.S. smartphones sold during 3Q11.**

    How Many Smartphones Were Sold in the U.S. During 3Q11?

    One of my goals in this analysis was to rely on as little estimation as possible. *In order to accomplish this, I was interested in only iPhone share (the rest of the mobile pie can be figured out at a later time).*Fortunately, both AT&T and Verizon supply concrete iPhone and total smartphone sales data. During 3Q11, AT&T sold 4.8 million smartphones, of which 2.7 million were iPhones (56%). *Meanwhile, Verizon sold 5.6 million smartphones, of which 2 million where iPhones (36%). Combined, iPhone accounted for 45% of smartphones sold at AT&T and Verizon during 3Q. What*about Sprint and T-Mobile? Neither provide concrete smartphone sales data, primarily because they pail in comparison to larger competitors, AT&T and Verizon. Sprint indicated 8% of its 28 million postpaid ĎSprint brand on CDMAí subscriber base upgraded during 3Q, of which 80% were smart phone upgrades, which would lead to approximately 1.75 million smartphones sold during the quarter. With T-Mobile being much smaller than Sprint, I peg smartphone sales closer to 1 million. I assume that no unlocked iPhones made their way over to Sprint or T-Mobile during the quarter, which isnít the case as T-Mobile recently indicated 1 million iPhones were are on their network (for comparison, T-Mobile has 10 million phones on its 3G/4G network).

    iPhoneís Share of U.S. Smartphones Sales

    Running with conservative estimates and adding up sales at the four largest U.S. carriers, approximately 13.1 million smartphones were sold during the quarter, of which 4.7 million, or 36%, were iPhones. Adding the impact from unlocked iPhones, and the share would be even higher. Remaining U.S. mobile carriers are too small to change the calculations one way or another. *

    iPhone Sales Were Down 16% in 3Q*

    iPhone 3Q sales trends are even more striking when considering total iPhone sales were down 16%*sequentially during the quarter (I estimate the U.S. market saw a steeper decline of 20%+). iPhone sales were 17.1 million during 3Q, compared to 20.3 million in 2Q and 18.9 million in 1Q. *Many consumers held off on smartphone purchases, or upgrades, since rumors of an updated iPhone were in the marketplace for a number of weeks (if not months). *

    Total iPhone Market Share

    Nielsenís market share data appears to show share of current smartphone usage, which I think is faulty and error-prone (one could make the argument that Nielsen is in fact just looking at 3Q sales data, however my previous calculations would prove otherwise). How does one measure how many phones are currently in use? Is Nielsen adding all*of its prior quarterly shipment data to reach current market share usage? Such a method would lead to*inconclusive*data as it is unclear how many phones are still in use or have since been discarded. As an example, I bought an iPhone 3GS in 2009 and it has since been*discarded*to a pseudo iPod Touch. Since it is tough to estimate iPhoneís current overall usage share, one could instead look at big picture themes. According to Nielsen, iPhone has 28% share and it is reasonable to assume that iPhoneís share has improved with iPhone at Verizon. Is it possible that iPhone had less than 28% U.S. smartphone usage share in 2010 when iPhone accounted for over 60% of AT&T smartphone sales? I have my doubts.

    What Is Going On?

    My primary theory for why Nielsenís market share data is wrong, or at least misleading, is that some OEMs have altered Android to such a degree that many ďAndroid-poweredĒ phones are actually better classified as feature phones - great for text messaging, but lacking mobile browsers or apps. *Nielsen is then unable to distinguish Android-powered feature phones from smartphones and simply assumes any Android-powered phone must be a smartphone. Alternatively, AT&T and Verizon data is pretty straight forward with no confusion between feature phones and smartphones. *I donít think the shipped vs. sold argument is as relevant for mobile phones because the sales numbers being thrown around are much higher than that of the much smaller tablet market.*

    Looking Ahead

    iPhone 4S sales are off to a fast start. Upcoming sales data points that I will be looking for will come from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Until Nielsen, and other market survey companies, reveal where they are getting their data and how it is being calculated, I donít think it should be relied on for investment or app development decisions.*

    11.17.2011
    11-18-11 12:13 AM
  2. pilsbury's Avatar
    I know AT&T and VZW sold a boatload of 4Ss.
    11-18-11 06:46 AM
  3. ThePinkChameleon's Avatar
    I know AT&T and VZW sold a boatload of 4Ss.
    Agreed, when I got my 4S 2wks ago from today, while I was in there for the approx 20-30mins or so of the rep doing everything I needed, 5 other people came in for the 4s also. Some(3) were switching from bb, some were stepping "up" from a basic phone.
    11-18-11 06:49 AM
  4. Accidental Post's Avatar
    Pink be nice we don't want people to misconstrue the words stepping up......LOL
    ThePinkChameleon likes this.
    11-18-11 07:19 AM
  5. ThePinkChameleon's Avatar
    Pink be nice we don't want people to misconstrue the words stepping up......LOL
    errrr......ummmm....ok. then they were changing cellular devices to something more advanced to have more of an overall pleasant user experience with the web

    there, how that now LOL
    Accidental Post and pilsbury like this.
    11-18-11 07:25 AM
  6. Accidental Post's Avatar
    Perfect...just confusing enough that a troll's head would explode.........
    pilsbury likes this.
    11-18-11 07:33 AM
  7. ThePinkChameleon's Avatar
    Perfect...just confusing enough that a troll's head would explode.........
    ............
    11-18-11 07:41 AM
  8. sj-performance's Avatar
    this thread will explode in 5...4...3...2...1...
    11-18-11 09:07 AM
  9. pilsbury's Avatar
    The trolls are going to be offended-too bad.
    11-18-11 11:42 AM
  10. sj-performance's Avatar
    u have just opened a "troll" box....
    11-18-11 11:47 AM
  11. moiselles's Avatar
    I'm just looking forward to the Q4 numbers.


    Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk!
    11-18-11 12:05 PM
  12. sj-performance's Avatar
    I'm just looking forward to the Q4 numbers.


    Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk!
    I know


    Sent from my iPhone 4S using Tapatalk
    11-18-11 09:44 PM
  13. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    LMAO, looks like the "Trolls" are ignoring this thread regardless of your inciting behavior.
    I think I know what your problem is, I think you're afraid if you move completely to Tipi you just become another iphone fan, here you are special.

    Sort of like a French Chef, around the world they're called French Chef, in France they would be just "Chef" lol

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    ekafara likes this.
    11-19-11 03:58 AM
  14. sj-performance's Avatar
    "troll" alert
    11-19-11 08:54 AM
  15. kbz1960's Avatar
    Cool so what does the iphone selling do for you all? It helps your stock or just makes you feel better knowing you have the best selling phone?

    OK continue with your bragging rights and go get em.
    11-19-11 09:05 AM
  16. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    Cool so what does the iphone selling do for you all? It helps your stock or just makes you feel better knowing you have the best selling phone?

    OK continue with your bragging rights and go get em.
    Exactly, I thought all these ex blackberry iphone owners on crackberry still "supported" Rim.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-19-11 09:51 AM
  17. avt123's Avatar
    The iPhone sucks...
    11-19-11 10:25 AM
  18. kbz1960's Avatar
    The iPhone sucks...
    That is why it's so popular! Oops, mind in the gutter

    No it doesn't suck. It just isn't for everyone.
    11-19-11 10:30 AM
  19. avt123's Avatar
    That is why it's so popular! Oops, mind in the gutter

    No it doesn't suck. It just isn't for everyone.
    I know, I was joking. I own one.

    This thread was just too happy I had to say it.
    11-19-11 10:32 AM
  20. kbz1960's Avatar
    I know, I was joking. I own one.

    This thread was just too happy I had to say it.
    I know you own one........ believe me I know.... j/k
    11-19-11 10:55 AM
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