Apple’s installed base of iPhone units hits one billion
The analyst says that Apple has three goals that it should seek to meet. One is the continuing improvement of the cameras on the iPhone. Cybart says that a camera “arms race” has each manufacturer trying to prove that their system is the best. As far as Apple is concerned, the analyst says that there is a risk that iPhone users become content with the camera on the model that they own and decide not to upgrade. But that seems to go hand-in-hand with the increasing durability and longevity of the phone. And as Cybart says, a more durable Apple iPhone “ends up strengthening the iPhone’s value proposition via higher resale values. If a new iPhone can be recirculated to additional users, the gray market will be strengthened and consumers will find more attractive payment terms and options at time of purchase.”
The analyst made it clear that the iPhone is behind the huge surge in Apple’s installed base from 125 million in 2010 to more than 1 billion now. While the iPhone will remain Apple’s main tool for attracting new users, wearables-including Apple Glass-could be responsible for the next billion members of Apple’s installed base. More interesting is whether Apple actually achieved peak iPhone sales of 231 million iPhones in fiscal 2015. Cybart’s take is that Apple has yet to reach peak iPhone sales and that the company will continue to benefit from a flattening of the upgrade cycle to four-five years along with the device’s strong resale value. In addition, with the eagerly-awaited Apple Glass set to launch over 2021-2022, the iPhone could continue to attract new users since the wearable will probably require a nearby iPhone to handle any complex processing. That is how Apple handled the early Apple Watch models. Over time Apple weaned its smartwatch off of the iPhone and that should happen with Apple Glass. Still, at the beginning, it will be another role handled by the iPhone. The more roles that the device handles, the more important the handset is.
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