September 2012
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Month September 2012

Projecting iOS devices sales through iTunes account growth

During the iPhone 5 launch event, Apple announced 435 million iTunes accounts (with credit card numbers) with one click shopping.

The account total is updated occasionally by Apple and the history of these updates is shown below:

Measuring the growth in accounts shows steady acceleration.

5by5 | The Critical Path #54: Moving the Ball Forward

Horace and Moisés discuss Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement. Was there a strategic shift? Whatever happened to targeting the low end of the market? Also, what’s in store for the iPod touch?

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #54: Moving the Ball Forward.

Are iPhone Average Sales Prices Increasing?

The most remarkable thing about the iPhone as a technology product is that it has been able to maintain pricing stability for over five years. As the following chart shows, the revenues per unit sold for the iPhone (as reported by the company) have held even as volumes grew exponentially.

The latest version of the product should see no significant change in this pattern. I show below the price spectrum of the iPhone as available unlocked in the US (therefore assuming no sales taxes or VAT and no subsidy). I also highlighted the average revenue per unit from the latest four quarters.

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How many iPhone 5's will sell in the opening weekend?

The iPhone 4S sold about 4 million units in the first three days of availability last year. The iPhone 4 sold about 1.7 million and iPhone 3GS about 1 million.

The main driver to growth for the initial weekend is usually upgrades for existing customers. There might be first time buyers, but the dedication required to ensure being first to have it usually means buyers are keen on the brand and are repeat customers.

The other factor is the number of countries where the phone is available. The 4 was initially available in 5 countries. The 4S in seven and now the 5 will be in nine countries. I made a list of the differences in launch countries for the 4S and the 5 below:

I’ve also listed the second week launch countries for completeness and shown which countries have changed.[1]

5by5 | The Critical Path #53: To Be First and Loudest

Horace is still out crossing the globe on secret missions, so Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan. This week, Horace covers his Swipe Conference presentation on the history of personal computing and the shift to new platforms that foreshadows the dawn of a new era, the state of the US mobile market and where Lumia fits into the fold, and how Samsung moves forward in the wake of the litigation.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #53: To Be First and Loudest.

How many new Kindles will Amazon sell?

Amazon will sell as many Kindles as they make, but the number they will make will not be the most they could make.

The logic of selling a product which has a profit model unrelated to the cost of goods sold is tricky. The incentives are different. The risk is not selling too few but selling too many.

For this reason I think the total number of new Fire units to be sold has already been determined by a production order. You cannot think about the business from a demand point of view. If the product would be free then the demand would be infinite. The decision about how many will be “sold” will depend on the goodwill of the producer.

What Amazon tries to do with the brand is ensure that the Fire is in the hands of its most ravenous consumers. That is why it’s not sold in all markets or through all channels. They are sold through Amazon.com in the US (limited sales in UK as well). This is because a large number of the product in the hands of users who only use it for browsing or in areas where Amazon does not have content deals or where its ads are poorly targeted (e.g. India, Indonesia or Madagascar) would be a disaster. It may not be all that helpful to Google to have Android in those markets but as you would expect it’s still a profitable business for Apple.

So one way to think of the Fire is as a promotional item (aka swag) for another business (Amazon.com). Using this frame of mind, assessing its “threat” to another business which charges for the product itself is like assessing whether free t-shirts from trade shows affect the sales of clothing or apparel in general. They do, but mostly the sale of cheap t-shirts. I doubt that people stop buying more functional clothing because they have hundreds of free t-shirts. And then there’s the problem of looking like an advertisement.

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Swipe Conference 2012 Keynote

My Swipe keynote presentation is available as a free Perspective download.

Swipe Conference 2012 Keynote.

In it I present the history of personal computing and the shift to new platforms that foreshadows the dawn of a new era.

MacTalk Podcast Special | Horace Dediu

A recorded interview Peter Wells at Swipe Conference. We discuss the rise and fall of the PC, and some of the parallels that can be drawn from the rise of mobile platforms today. Which mobile platforms are destined to succeed, and who will fade away? And why can’t some analysts count the iPad as a PC replacement? Horace also discusses the amazing iPad app he used today in his presentation.

via MacTalk – MacTalk Podcast Special | Horace Dediu.