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Will we ever get tired of buying iPhones?
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-09-12 19:33:09

It's iPhone launch day today, which I would usually greet with some meditation on the expected features or design of the new device and how it fits into the wider competitive field. This year, however, I want to zoom out rather than in. Because no matter how much or how little the iPhone changes today, no matter how awful its new naming scheme, we can all be certain that Apple will sell tens of millions of its 2018 iteration before the year is through. It's this apparent inevitability to Apple's commercial success that I find fascinating.

The only danger the iPhone can run into at this stage is a sudden collapse in its perceived coolness factor among the general public - but barring anything unforeseen, I don't see that happening any time soon. We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-26
Never owned on
By Ressev on 2018-09-12 21:01:42
I have avoided iPhones. I like Apple's iPad and the iTouch before that, but found I could get what I wanted out of cell phones for less cost with other carriers and android phones.

Why? I am a bit of a component minded person, I pay for a landline, DSL, and cell phone. I have my technologies separate from each other when and where I can so that if one goes wonky I can still use the rest.
Permalink - Score: 5
By Sodki on 2018-09-12 22:35:44
Never bought one, never will.

But to add something constructive to the conversation, the answer is still "no". People don't need to buy new iPhones every year, but even if they only buy replacements every 5 years it still means there are millions of people that need to buy a new phone every year. So no, we will never stop buying smartphones - not until we start calling them by another name.

Same thing happened with desktops and laptops: every year the technology leaped and buying a new one gave us new advancements. Then they became good enough to last a couple of years, a decade or even more. But eventually they'll need to be replaced, so the cycle restarts, albeit slower.
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Will we ever get tired of drinking Coke?
By sergio on 2018-09-12 23:28:54
I don't think so...

BTW Apple's lost any possibility of market disruption, it's not a disruptive company anymore. Tim keeps releasing the same products over and over again, even the keynotes are dull and standard. Not cool anymore.
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a load of bollocks
By unclefester on 2018-09-13 02:18:51
What a load of US-centric BS. The iPhone share of new smartphone sales peaked at 23% seven years ago (Q4 2011). Since then it has halved to just 12% (Q2 18).


The iPhone is almost totally reliant on carrier subsidies (~USD400 per device) and lock in contracts to to maintain market share. In countries where prepaid phones are the norm Apple has negligible market share.
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By marcoburatto on 2018-09-13 08:08:50
> We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come...

...as an example of how to waste money.
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it's getting boring
By phti on 2018-09-13 08:20:18
iphone competitors haven't, in more than 10 years, been able to ship something that stands against it, they're always trying to catch up in performance, design (the notch copycat frenzy is just the last ridiculous effort) and quality of materials. I won't mention OS because there is much more space for personal taste (both are now perfectly fine) but on the hardware (and hardware/software integration, in which Apple really shines) it's embarrassing and extremely boring that there's never really been a competitor on quality.

Edited 2018-09-13 08:21 UTC
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RE[2]: a load of bollocks
By unclefester on 2018-09-13 09:28:32
> 1. Mate you need to dig up some numbers into usage share. ( Hint: it shows a vastly different picture )

2. Carriers contact and locked in concerns has been overblown and shows no signs of problem to iPhone ecosystem. And one reason why Apple has its own iPhone upgrade program in case anyone needs financing.

iPhone sales peaked in Q1 2016. The current usage is simply showing past sales history. Usage rates will plummet as older phones are removed from service over the next 2-3 years.

The fact is that Apples share of the new phone market is rapidly shrinking. [It is the Mac story being repeated.]

The iPhone business is barely profitable without carrier subsidies.

The fact that prices are increasing shows that Apple is desperately trying to retain revenue. [It is an old trick widely used in the Veblen goods industry.]

Edited 2018-09-13 09:29 UTC
Permalink - Score: 5
Never bought them in the first place
By birdie on 2018-09-13 09:29:27
The iPhone Excess Max equals three of my monthly salaries. Sorry, Thom, the whole world doesn't revolve around the countries like yours. Most people in the world cannot make ends meet and new iPhones are the least of their concerns.
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RE: it's getting boring
By birdie on 2018-09-13 09:30:47
Yes, nothing comes close to the lack of basic usability in iPhones, devices made solely for media consumption: http://itvision.altervista.org/w...
Permalink - Score: 3
RE: Wasteful
By avgalen on 2018-09-13 09:35:11
> We'll be stuck with the iPhone being the smartphone all others get compared to for a long time to come...
Not at all. I have always compared to other way around:
* Ah, iPhone got 4G this year, just like all the other Android phones had for 2 years
* Ah, iPhone finally went bigger bigger bigger bigger (4", 5.2", 5,8", 6.5"), just like all the other Android phones for the last few years (always being behind)
* Ah, iPhone finally gets OLED screens, just like high-end Samsung (and other) phones
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a good screen-2-body ration...
* Ah, iPhone finally gets > 16 GB by default...
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a decent selfie-camera.
* Ah, iPhone finally gets a decent battery.

(maybe in the next 2 years we will get multi-window apps, USB-C, "desktop-dock", pencil-support, mouse-support)
iPhone popularizes many things that have been available on the Android side and then they pick-and-choose the ones that people like and ignore the things that people ignored (modularity)

The whole thing about iPhones is that they are the only phones running iOS, only Apple makes them, and there are a very limited number of models (there used to be only 1 per year, then 2, then 3. All of that makes it easy to say "so lets take the iPhone as the base and compare everything else to it"
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