August 7, 2012

Analysts Predict Huge Numbers For Apple’s Unreleased iPhone

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Combining some of Apple´s testimony and a few handy charts, numbers guru Horace Dediu has predicted millions of people will be buying Apple´s latest iPhone, regardless of the title.

Not just millions, mind you, but hundreds of millions, more to the tune of 170 million.

It´s an interesting premise used to arrive at his prediction. After all, Apple´s very own Phil Schiller testified– under oath, no less– that when Apple assesses sales for a new iPhone model, they use an easy equation.

“Each new generation sold approximately equal to all previous generations combined.”

So, mixing this equation with a little extra math, Dediu was able to reach his 170 million prediction. Of course there are several variables to consider. First of all, Apple doesn´t simply stop selling older iPhone models when newer ones are released. The 3 year old iPhone 3GS, for instance, is still available to customers looking for a free way into Apple´s ecosystem.

Dediu makes a few assumptions about the ratio between previous models sold to newer models sold, allowing him to reach a few conclusions.

According to his assumptions and mathematics,nearly 4 times as many iPhone 3Gs (2008) were sold than the original 2007 iPhone.

His assumptions also show that the iPhone 3GS outsold its predecessor by a factor of 1.6.

When the iPhone 4 was released in 2010, it beat out sales of all previous models till that point. As Apple will likely continue to offer the iPhone 4, the amount with which it beats the original 3 models continues to grow.

According to Dediu, the iPhone 4S is only halfway through beating all prior iPhone models, and should reach a two-thirds mark by the time the next iPhone is made available.

Armed with these assumptions and mathematics, Dediu predicts the next iPhone could sell as many as 170 million units by mid-2013, assumedly a few months before another new iPhone is announced.

Should the next iPhone continue the trend of outselling all previous models, it stands to reason that its numbers will crest the 265 million mark.

However, Dediu says if the next iPhone remains in production as long as the iPhone 3GS, it has a better chance of reaching this astronomical number. Dediu also mentions that these assumptions are based on previous growth numbers. As such, any change to this growth could dramatically alter his 170 million or even 265 million predictions.

Earlier estimates by familiar Apple analyst Gene Munster and popular Apple writer Phillip Elmer-Dewitt also suggest that Apple´s next iPhone, whatever it´s to be called, will be a huge hit.

In a Change Wave study, 50% of polled American consumers who said they were planning on buying a smartphone in the next 90 days said they were planning to buy the next iPhone.

Furthermore, 14% of those who said they weren´t yet in the market for a smartphone said they were “very likely” to make the iPhone their very first smartphone, while 17% said they were “somewhat likely,” a number the Change Wave called “unprecedented.”

Backing up these claims, Gene Munster performed his own survey, asking 400 people which size screen they preferred, as well as asking if they planned to buy the next iPhone. According to his research, a “majority” of those polled preferred a smaller screen size, leading Munster to believe that Apple has at least 80 million new iPhone sales “in the bag” in its opening weeks.