Latest Apple results show iPhone might have reached its peak last year

Latest Apple results show iPhone might have reached its peak last year
Apple unveiled its usual ‘record-breaking’ quarter yesterday, announcing that it sold 51 million iPhones in the Holiday quarter alone. Those numbers do look impressive, but put them alongside Wall Street’s expectations of 55 million iPhones sold in the past trimester, and the overall growth of the smartphone market, and you’d start to realize why Apple’s shares took an 8% dive right away.

The missed expectations and modest guidance for the following quarter have all contributed. In fact, looking at the numbers for the whole of 2013 (calendar year, not fiscal), you’d see that Apple iPhone sales grew a modest 13%, from 135.8 million in 2012 to 153.4 million in 2013. Why modest? Simple, the industry as a whole grew at a much faster pace, as smartphone s grew their total market share by 48%.

All in all, what we have is that despite Apple’s huge profitability (the company is most profitable among not just all tech companies, but among the world’s global firms in general), it lost a sizeable 5 percentage points of the market in just one year. The observation, coming from ex-Nokia’s Tomi Ahonen, continues with an interesting suggestion that Apple could have actually reached its peak market share in 2012, and is now on the downwards trend.

One year does not make a trend in our opinion, but such a huge nosedive in market share is telling. Apple still controls the U.S. market, but we are seeing that its global piece of the market is far less impressive. Will Apple tumble down to a single-digit market share and remain a ‘luxury’ phone maker, as it has always been with the Mac? Only time will tell.
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