Apple iPhone 5 sales might reach 250 million over its lifespan

Apple iPhone 5 sales might reach 250 million over its lifespan
The new iPhone is not even announced yet. And even worse, we don’t even know whether it’d be the iPhone 5, iPhone 4GS or iPhone supercalifragilistic (hopefully!), but judging by a detailed analysis of iPhone sales so far, there’s a chance that the next phone from Apple could reach 250 million sales over its lifetime if it stays on shelves for as long as the iPhone 3GS, according to analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco.

There’s a simple measure for iPhone sales so far. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing head, himself admitted that when looking at sales, the company is guided by the following simple principle:

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

Bringing in some cumulative numbers, we see that the rule holds true for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4, while the iPhone 4S is halfway through.

- For the iPhone 3G, it beat the original with nearly four times more sales.

- The iPhone 3GS beat the original and iPhone 3G combined with a factor of 1.6.

- The iPhone 4 also sold more than the three earlier models combined.

- The iPhone 4S is still young and already sold half of what the first four models did, but it’d continue selling for quite a while so the prospecst are there.

If - and that’s one big if - such dynamics persist, the iPhone 5 (call it supercalifragilistic, if you prefer) could sell a total of the whopping 250 million over its whole lifespan. It’d have a much harder task at beating the first five iPhones cumulatively. Check out the graphs below to see the sales charted for yourself. Could Apple really achieve that with the new iPhone? Let us know your thoughts below.

source: Asymco

Related phones

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A6, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1440 mAh
  • OS iOS 10.x



33. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Yeah and the world might end in 2 weeks.

39. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

very possible indeed

31. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

iPhone 5 will for sure break sales records. There's more demand for iPhone now then there ever was and it's on more carriers. Apple will also make a push on market share. Apple's only real competitor is Samsung and if they lose in court Apple stands alone at the top of the hill.

29. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

That # is overated. They would first sold 300,00-500,000 in its first two weeks. Unless these dumb analyst numbers are wrong as always

26. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Analysts are missing one factor when calculating something like that, and that is whether or not the new product does the job. See if the new iphone represents just an elongated version of the iphone 4s with iOS6 and some additional siri enhancements, it will do little to wow people who have seen this type of look from phones on the market many times over already. This will seriously dampen the idea that the sales could reach those numbers, though if it stays on the market long enough one could argue this for almost any popular device. Either way, all will be determined once its released but if its as I said, that could be a major disappointment for Apple.

30. Aeires unregistered

Apple is no doubt planning to market the living crap out of the bigger screen size. Last year it was Siri, if reports are true, this year it will be the 4" screen. That alone will be enough for people to purchase this in droves, bigger screens are what they've been wanting for a long time. I don't see it selling 250 million phones, but the next iteration will sell a ton. People buy into their marketing, it's just that simple.

24. Aeires unregistered

Apparently this guy doesn't understand what a plateau is, eventually it's going to cap out.

20. jove39

Posts: 2153; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Beginning of another very profitable quarter/year for apple!

17. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

"iPhone supercalifragilistic" someone's been watching Mary Poppins

15. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Too optimistic? We are all waiting for galaxy note 2.

16. parvsingh05

Posts: 100; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

lol who all?

38. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

lol, all 20 android members of this site

9. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

we all know that apple breaks records every year, i think this is a very good time to buy apple shares, because next year apple might cover this period of the year with the second ipad mini so the share prices will only increase in every quarter.........

8. moskey

Posts: 11; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

yea , with 5 rows it will definitly be a winner :)

37. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

well its already doing pretty damn well with 4 rows, so 5 rows will be killer

6. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It would take almost half of decade for iPhone sales start to drop if they sabotage it the Nokia way, but they won't. So, there won't be a sales drop. iPhone will become the most selling product of all time in its lifespan. No matter what it looks like, what specs does it have or what it does. It's just an accumulation and implosion of symbolic order around Apple.

5. MeoCao unregistered

iPhone 4S was a big success b-c GB was not a polish OS even it was more powerful than iOS. Steve Job's death caused lots of sympathy to Apple and additional carriers helped the sales of iPhone in US. After ICS came to the market Android is winning everywhere except US and JB is totally different beast and better than iOS 6 in every aspect. So iPhone 5 will be a failure if Apple keeps selling it at high price.

4. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 561; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

the sales will definitely move above iphone 4 and 4s sales due to hardware & software upgradation,but it will not be 250 million sales.this figure is truly incorrect.

3. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Not when the "current" King of Smartphones-Samsung is on the loose.

10. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

actually, samsung's future depends on google, now that they have motorola, they can use it to make nexus devices every year, smartphones apart, samsung's tablets are already in danger because google made the nexus 7 with's future also depends on what they do with tizen os, if they can make it as good as meego, then they will have a good marketshare

13. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Google did not buy Motorola in order to make their own devices but to acquire Motorola's extensive patent portfolio in order to save patent-using expences and charge others who are using them.

19. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

buy they might make nexus devices with motorola to ensure that it comes out of losses, you never know...motorola belongs to google so its their responsibility to pull it out of losses, the next nexus phone could possibly be the last nexus phone to be made by samsung because they just can't allow others companies enjoy android os and leave their own company in the cold...

22. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It's up to Google to decide the fate of Motorola. They could easily shut down the whole mobile division they bough and keep the legacy of patents, I don't see why they would wanna save it just for the sake of it.

27. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

why should they shut down motorola? they can improve it......even youtube and android didn't belong to google, they bought and developed those, now its time to develop a hardware company, now that an improved wp os is about to enter the market with nokia's beautiful pureview phones, android could lose some of its marketshare, even tizen could eat up some of the marketshare in the future, android might still dominate the market but it might not be as popular as it is today, so motorola can act as a backup plan for google so that they need not depend on other companies for making android phones in the future.

14. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Except the fact that Motorola still keeps on bleeding out money from google as of the latest reports, Samsung would still be the King. Nevertheless, I am referring to smartphones here, not OS.

25. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

google need not bleed money for motorola if they make nexus devices with motorola

2. wendygarett unregistered

Most of them are repeat customer... Increase the sales does not increase the market share drastically...

7. CharlieAtInfinity

Posts: 253; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

In short.. iFans will by buying the iPhone 5 for sure..

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 31811; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Jus like Samsung fans will buy the next galaxy device. Dude u jus said nothing

11. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

True. This prediction is too exaggerated given the fact that there are too many smartphones to choose from. And the fact that high-end phones from android are gaining popularity fast, this might affect the iphone sales. I'd agree with this analysis if there's an overhaul in the vintage os.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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