Apple's iPhone 7 is best-selling, and iPhone 6S most used, analysts claim

Apple's smartphones are the biggest-selling, most-used devices in the sector, analysts claim

Apple, iPhone iOS, iPhone 8, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, smartphone
Apple

As we wait on the next edition, we learnt that the most used smartphone in the world is the iPhone 6S, while iPhone 7 remains the world’s best-selling smartphone.

‘Phones across the planet

Two reports come from Strategy Analytics and Scientia Mobile are the latest icing on the cake for iPhone predictions as we wait on Apple’s next-generation devices.

The reports appear as analysts everywhere quietly raise expectations for AAPL stock, itself on course to break a trillion-dollar market cap.

Popular expectation around the next iPhone, which many believe may introduce a new high-end tier, dubbed iPhone 8, is driving significant market changes.

The top tier

Apple already accounts for the top two best-selling smartphone models, according to Strategy Analytics. The OPPO R9s and Samsung’s Galaxy J3 and J5 devices account for third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

Apple sold a combined 38.9 million 7-series iPhones in Q1 2017, the analysts said. This compares to 8.9 million R9s sales and 11.1 million combined sales of Samsung’s mid-range devices.

“We estimate Apple iPhone 7 shipped 21.5 million units and captured 6 percent marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017,” said Strategy Analytics analyst, Juha Winter.

“The iPhone 7 is by far the world’s most popular smartphone model…,” Winter added. “iPhone 7 Plus, with its bigger screen and higher pricing, shipped 17.4 million units for second place and 5 percent marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017.”

Building tomorrow

Apple absolutely dominates the high-end smartphone market, but in order to seize share in the all-important developing markets the company seems prepared to enter the mid-range market, too.

Recent reports claim Apple will soon begin selling some version of the iPhone 5S in India at a mid-range price. Buoyed by services income and the extension of new premium handsets, Apple seems prepared to take that risk.

Apple’s Tim Cook has declared a 1,000-year commitment to India, and doing so makes sense. It is now the world’s third-largest smartphone market, after China and the U.S.

“They’re moving at a speed that I have not seen in any other country in the world once they were started, and it is truly impressive,” said Cook during Apple’s most recent fiscal call.

Smartphone penetration in India grew by 16 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017. Looking forward an astonishing 51 percent of current mobile phone owners in India plan to upgrade across the next 12-months. Putting this in a historical context, there has been a sustained pattern of smartphone sales growth in India for years.

Of course, as developed markets reach peak smartphone, Apple management knows it must be prepared to move decisively in order to prepare the company for future growth. It's logical to look to developing markets to achieve this.

Competing against itself

At the high end of the market Apple appears to be in competition with itself. Its plan to introduce a new higher-end device will simply extend its grip on the premium phone punters.

 ScientiaMobile’s recently released Mobile Overview Report (MOVR) tells us the iPhone 6S became the most used smartphone worldwide in February 2017.  It now accounts for almost 8 percent of all global smartphone browsing. “Given the size of the iPhone 6 user-base, the upgrade potential for the iPhone 7 and 8 is significant if Apple can retain customers,” the analysts claim.

You have to put all this market activity through the filter of  recent Trendforce claims that smartphone sales are to fall 23 percent in the coming months. Meanwhile we see slowing sales to iPhone loyalists and millions of heavily tempted Android to iPhone switchers as we wait on news of Apple’s next iPhones.

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