Report: Lack of competitive market in the U.S. leads to higher Apple iPhone sales

Report: Lack of competitive market in the U.S. leads to higher Apple iPhone sales
Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis has reached a conclusion about why the Apple iPhone accounted for nearly half of all U.S. smartphone sales through carriers in the first quarter, while overseas it is swamped 2 to 1 by Android. Before we get to that conclusion, let's examine some basic stats. In the first quarter of this year, 18 million smartphones were sold by U.S. carriers and less than half of those, 8.6 million to be exact, went to new smartphone buyers (which includes those upgrading for the first time to a smartphone from a feature phone) while the majority went to existing smartphone owners.

The numbers from Enders Analysis show that in the first quarter in the U.S., the Apple iPhone made up half of all smartphone sales, a figure that dovetails with computations by other analysts. The carrier whose iPhone sales made up the largest percentage of their overall smartphone sales was AT&T where nearly 8 out of 10 smartphones purchased in Q1 were Apple's iconic device. Despite the 50% share that the Apple iPhone snagged in the states from January through March, Android leads globally by a 2 to 1 margin. The reason for this discrepancy can be explained by numbers.

Figuring that in the U.S., the typical Apple iPhone 4S costs $200 with a $80 monthly 2-year contract, the Total Cost of Ownership for the Apple iPhone 4S in the states is $2,120. The TCO for a free handset in the U.S. is $1,920. That means that the difference between owning an iPhone 4S and a cheaper phone is only $200 or 10% of the total cost. In the U.K., the TCO of the Apple iPhone 4S is $998 while the cheapest smartphone in the region has a TCO of $384. This means that in the U.K., buyers spend nearly $600 more over the life of a contract, to buy the Apple iPhone 4S. In the U.S., buyers are spending just $200 more over the life of the contract to buy an iPhone 4S.  Those figures right there tell you why the Apple iPhone 4S is a hotter handset in the States than overseas.

Another point made by Evans is that with nearly half of all mobile phone users in the States still clinging to their featurephone, that is the market that smartphone manufacturers need to concentrate their marketing on in the States. The hope is that bu concentrating marketing to that group, eventually they will leave their featurephone aside for a new smartphone.source: Guardian

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64GB



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Whoa, s**t, what was that? Someone besides me agrees that more aggressive marketing would lead to higher Android sales in the US? SHOCKING!

42. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Did you read the article? He said its due to the cost of ownership overseas of an iPhone why it sells less there. I've said many times android does well due to its super cheap phones.

47. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

were you able to read the part about higher over all cost of phones in america because everyone is paying for subsidies regardless of what phone they get? in "other countries", your paying for your phone, not everyone else.

64. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

APPLE BAN the competition to keep gaining sales. or is it you just don't care

2. Mube1

Posts: 153; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

What abt the galaxy s3

3. phnrpt

Posts: 23; Member since: May 28, 2012

US DOJ has already charged Apple for price fixing of the eBook. That’s far not enough. Apple’s role is at least conspiracy with AT&T. Apple also benefits from prevent positive competition with Samsung. The victims are us, people, and the consumers from US. People from Europe, Asia or Africa enjoyed “Samsung galaxy S2” five months earlier than US people did. “Samsung galaxy note” is another three months earlier, even as today, the other big three US carriers still can’t announce for the galaxy note release. All the first four Major carriers in UK are already selling galaxy note. We, the US consumers are being ignored and discriminated by the arrogant AT&T and Apple Inc. we need US DOJ to protect the US consumers’ rights.

6. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I actually have to agree. In the US we seem to get all of the hottest devices last EXCEPT for apple products. It makes one question whether or not that there isn't something going on to cause that. Then there is the fact that android subs are subsidizing Iphone users in the US. Too bad it is never going to change.

18. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

@14545 Lumia 900. BlackBerry Torch. BlackBerry Bold. Motorola Atrix. Droid series. All of these released in the U.S. and/or North American markets FIRST, and in some places, are the only places they've launched. Those are just a few examples. Research before following the words of someone; the blind leading the blind don't often get anywhere.

24. firelightx

Posts: 71; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

I would not call any of those among the hottest devices. Maybe the hottest for their particular operating system, but... none of the above were a part of a global campaign. (Except, I believe for the Lumia, but that phone did not do nearly as well as MicroKia would have liked.) Look at the One series, or the Galaxy series. Or LG's Optimus line. Some of the largest android brands worldwide. The Droid doesn't even fit in the same category, as it's an american only brand, used on one single carrier, and largely supplied by an american-made manufacturer. One who is steadily slipping in popularity.

10. sithman

Posts: 299; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

Man shut the hell up with that crap. Applp, and AT&T r no different than Pepsi, or GM. Its called big capitalistic business. Get used to it crybaby.

17. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Would you stop with the conspiracy rhetoric? It's untrue, misinformed, and degrades the reader's intelligence. Yes, it does suck that the U.S. gets SOME phones later than elsewhere, and that SOME phones come out here first, but that is because the carriers and OEMs wield absolute power with what they'll offer and when, whether for profits, increased customer satisfaction, or to increase demand, who knows. You're an unwelcome broken record, but maybe if you changed your tune maybe the you'd be more audible.

19. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

As far as the Galaxy Note goes the reason that not all carriers are carrying the Note is simple Samsung went to carriers and offered the Note to them Verison said no they wanted LTE phones and already paid alot for an exclusive for the Nexus and didn't want to risk money on the Huge note and get stuck say 500000 units if they didn't sell. When Sammy talked to AT&T they counter offered to buy 1000000 units that had to have LTE and an exclusive in the US for six months and Sammy paid for Marketing it. Sammy agreed so they didn't talk to Tmo, Sprint or any other carrier in the US. With the phone being almost 7 months old when Tmo talked to Sammy about the Note and that it could not be sold til after june (at this point the org Note is 9 months old) Tmo got a huge price cut to buy the Note for it's network. Carriers are King in the US and make deals like this all the time in the US the OEMs cater to them because they are guaranteed large sales. Now the Note was risky since it was somewhat of a new type of device people were not sure would sell, since it has been successful the Note 2 will not be exclusive Sammy will ask for more per unit since now there will demand for it. So no Galaxy Note for Verizon, or Sprint (it's now too old) but Galaxy Note 2 for all carriers!

40. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

not sure if the numbers are true, but the idea behind what your saying is most definitely true. +1 for you.


Posts: 87; Member since: May 28, 2012

So true.

4. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

This will change with samsung galaxy s3.

7. Mitchel

Posts: 228; Member since: May 25, 2012

I agree.. But i don't think Galaxy s3 can beat iPhone single-handedly on sales, but it could stand on its own.. But who knows.

20. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

it already beated the iPhone in sales... it is now the fastest selling gadget ever with 9 million in one week... iPhone 4s had just 4 million...

28. SherlockHolmes

Posts: 125; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Kiddo that was Carrier Sales and not for Personal use !! I am not an isheep but Iphone 4s were ordered by people and not carriers in that 4 and 9 million race !!

29. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

yes, but the iPhone have the US included, GS3 9 million WITHOUT the US ! ^^ iPhone destroyed ;)

65. Mitchel

Posts: 228; Member since: May 25, 2012

Many people pre-ordered the Galaxy S3 through their respective carriers, it's the same as pre-ordering on official Samsung outlets. It's basically the same..

51. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

well it wont stand for too long until the release of the new iphone..

54. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

so far, many peeps are starting to think the i5 wont be a bigger seller than the 4s because so many people ran out and got a 4s and they are relocked into a new contract. So unless there is a surprise brewing, the SGS3's sales will stand.

58. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

ok just dont backpedal when the new iphones comes out...

8. kindlefireowner

Posts: 504; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Not a iphone lover or hater, but the whole iphone killer thing is jnot happening. This is a once in a generation thing that is happening with the iphone sales. It will never be repeated.

5. Saamic

Posts: 119; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

Honestly in the LA area, there's almost nothing but iphones. If you see an android it's a rare occurence. Consumer's are on the bandwagon in my area. That's why my profile picture is what it is


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

raw raw apple.. snore

11. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Duhh 1. US is Apple home town. 2. Price on apple produce is cost more than android. Android is more affordable lower income oversea. 3. Most of us like simplicity.

13. tarozeero

Posts: 16; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

'3. Most of us like simplicity.' Then shouldn't most of you be using WP7? '3. Most of us like the huge amount of apps available on the app store' - There. Fixed it for ya.

12. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 2012

The modern-day consumer is not concerned with how big a screen is or how fast the processor is...they are impressed by the brand. Every time I am in a store, or mall, or any other public area, at least 75% of the people I see have an iPhone. Based on common trends today, I am certain that they are not interested in the dual-core processor in the 4S, nor are they interested in the upgraded operating system. No, they are interested in the brand of Apple and all specific features to their phones, like Siri. Android users (again, based on common trends) are more likely to take interest in the specifics of their phone, such as processor speed, quality of photos/videos taken with the camera, latest operating system updates, etc. Bottom line is this: Android users buy Android smartphones for the unique experience that each handset can give them. Apple users buy the iPhone reason other than it's an iPhone.

15. wsucoug13

Posts: 164; Member since: May 04, 2012

couldn't agree more. iPhones are trendy.

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