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Why iPhone 5? | LinkedIn

On October 5th, 2011 I asked Why is there no iPhone 5? The question was prompted by the pervasive media surprise that the 2011 iPhone launch was the “4S” and not a completely new design.

I answered this question with the conclusion that an iPhone “5” in 2011 would over-serve the market by offering more than most buyers would be looking for. That was because there could only be three groups of users the iPhone 4S would need to target: existing iPhone users, smartphone non-consumers and non-iPhone smartphone users. The majority of iPhone users in late 2011 who would be willing to upgrade were iPhone 3 or 3GS users and for them the 4S would be a huge improvement. Non-consumers would find the 4S attractive, as they would any iPhone; and existing smartphone users (mainly Android) would still be in their first contract and not likely to be looking to upgrade. Given the conditions at the time, the 4S was an adequate fit with customer expectations.

I wrote “The question will be very different a year from now when most early Android buyers will be looking for a new phone and when most iPhone 4 users (all 70 million of them) will be looking for a new iPhone. That would seem like a good time to introduce a new iPhone ‘5’.”

It is now a year hence and we can consider how these same three targeted user groups see the new iPhone:

Read the rest of the post here: Why iPhone 5? | LinkedIn.

(Note: you can also follow me on LinkedIn now).

  • http://www.howardlindzon.com howardlindzon

    Good stuff as usual. thx

  • http://www.howardlindzon.com howardlindzon

    Good stuff as usual. thx

  • theothergeoff

    reading this, I think you flipped a compare:
    – Less than half of those bought their phones in the last 18 months.
    I think you mean ‘More than Half’

    you provide a ‘zero’ number for non-smartphone to iPhone 5? is that realistic? I would think the expected ration for the iPhone5 would be on the order of 5-15 Million (especially with entering into new markets where non to smart phone conversions will be high)

  • http://profiles.google.com/ivanreese Ivan Reese

    85 Million (see edit) within the first 6 months doesn’t seem like enough to ever reach 270 million. They’d have to maintain that rate for 1.5 years, which seems entirely unlikely since iPhone sales drop off with time and it will have since been replaced by the 5S. Is the iPhone 5 going to be the first iPhone where growth under-performs relative to the historical pattern?

    Is that why you just posted an article about the flattening of RIM’s growth? To frame the upcoming discussion of this potential flattening of iPhone growth?

    More than the TV, I’m now interested to see if Apple will kill their iPhone in the next few years, the way they “killed” the iPod.

    Edit: just noticed that 85 million is only the number for switchers and upgrades. Will adopters arriving from non-consumption be enough to get us to 270? I’m excited to find out.

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    You’re still suffering from the endless WordPress (double-)prime bug. Simply put, ″ and ′ are not closing quotation marks, but WordPress’s failed “smart” (“smart″) quotes auto-insert them following a numeral. Type real quotation marks in your copy, please ([Shift-]Option-brackets on Mac).

  • sandywebb

    Horace, are you following the Andriod model in your posts? Seems a bit fragmented to go from Asymco.com to Linked in, continuing the next post on the Perspective App, providing compelling observations on Critical Path, and regularly pushing data and comment through Twitter. It becomes very difficult to bookmark, track, or capture data and concepts for further consideration.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      Fragmentation would imply the message is different in each medium. I hope mine isn’t. Different channels of distribution of the same message is a way to reach a broader audience. I see it more as expanding by signing up more points of consumption.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=644846198 Ron Smith

    Is linkedin still rumored to be raiding folks’ address books and sending invitations to everyone without permission, or have they stopped doing that?

  • http://twitter.com/fivetonsflax fivetonsflax

    What problem is the LinkedIn use trying to solve here? I prefer your own blog.

    About means: do those non consumers have the means, not to purchase an iPhone but to carry the expensive subsidizing contract?

  • ralphel

    I don’t really want to be sent by an author I trust off to a site which prominently represents Richard Branson (to say nothing of Arianna Huffington) as a “thought leader”. (And other commenters have pointed to other concerns with this particular site.) What job is the association with such people doing for the Dediu/Asymco brand?