As iOS crosses 100 million units sold 3 years after the platform launched, it’s time to look forward to the next 100 million. My expectation is that well over 100 million iOS devices will sell during 2011, but even during the next 12 months (2H ’10 and 1H ’11) the total may well reach 100 million, making 200 million installed by June 2011 very likely.
Here is where the numbers will come from:
iPhone: Assuming only 50% growth (half of the average growth seen so far) gives 50 million units in the next 12 months.
iPad: 15 million base assumption
iPod: This is the most difficult to predict, but 46 million iPods will sell with a growth rate of -8% to -9%. If we consider the iPod touch part of the mix to be 40%, we get 19 million.
The total with these assumptions would be 84 million. A slightly higher growth rate for the iPhone would easily push the total to 100 million.
200 million devices in four years is quite a feat. Compare it to the growth of television which reached 50 million Americans in the first decade after commercial launch. Or consider the Netscape browser which only reached 50 million in its first four years or AOL which just crossed 20 million or in Japan where i-Mode reached 40 million users in the same time frame.
At 200 million, the iOS platform will be 18% the size of the world-wide television audience.
My prediction is that sometime next year Apple will announce the 100 millionth iPhone OS device sold, making the iPhone the fastest selling platform in history. The iPhone will have been on the market for three years.
via asymco | One Hundred Million.
Steve Jobs today: “This month we will sell the 100 millionth iOS device.”
Five weeks ago Apple forecast 100 million iPhone OS devices will be sold by summer. This was fairly easy to predict but the question comes up: when will the next 100 million be sold? And what about after that?
The iPhone OS three-legged platform is now the fastest growing platform ever and enjoying network effects which naturally accrue to platforms under solid custodianship. However, I am observing signals from Apple that they intend this platform to become the global standard for mobile computing, which, in today’s world, means targeting 1 billion users. Here are the signals that I’m noting:
- Geographic and cultural universality. What plays in Peoria should play in Beijing. As it has shown by being big in Japan, the iPhone crosses over cultural idiosyncrasies. Not long ago it was taken for granted that “mobile tastes” differ and “one size does not fit all” in mobile phones hence the need for hundreds of phone models in every portfolio. Apple has completely destroyed this myth. (One could ask why should mobile computers be polymorphous when their slightly larger cousins the laptops are rigidly monotonic?) By broadening the platform with multiple screens and connectivity options, Apple is cleverly spanning the jobs that he platform can be hired for.
- Avoidance of a pricing umbrella. Note that this does not mean being low prices, but rather, the protection of their franchise through pricing. Apple has developed a way to stretch a single product across multiple price bands, and carefully builds product to price and margin targets that have strategic placement.
- Product cycles and product ramps. Apple has imposed upon itself a yearly product cycle for the iPhone and the iPod. This is a brilliant move because it keeps the product fresh without having it seem disposable. It also keeps competitors within its turning radius. However, the challenge is that the distribution network has to be filled rapidly and drained rapidly to maximize availability. This gets harder and harder as the volume grows. Imagine having to manufacture and ship into the channel a billion devices in less than a quarter.
I would point out that all these are marketing, not technical challenges. They are thinly disguised questions about product placement, portfolio, pricing, production and distribution–classic Marketing 101. (Promotion, which is what most people equate with marketing is not particularly challenging, especially for Apple who mostly does it through PR).
It is comforting perhaps to know that Apple is the best marketing organization in the industry today. So to answer the question, 100 million is in the rear-view mirror, 200 million will come up in no more than 2 years and 1 billion will take 5 to 8 years.
And somewhere in the recovery was a moment when Apple stood on a hill, before the setting sun, and shook its fist at the heavens and vowed that it would never be hungry (and powerless) again Never again would another company decide whether the Macintosh lived or died. So, Apple supplanted Metrowerks and wrote its own IDE. It wrote Keynote to inform Microsoft and the world that, should Microsoft discontinue Office for Mac, Apple would be prepared to replace it without delay. It wrote Safari to ensure that it would have a Web browser option, come what may.
This is the key to modern Apple. It’s a big company, and it’s now wildly successful. It assumes that it can write a successful software product in any niche. It’s very talented and very confident. But always, at the back of its collective mind, is fear — the fear of depending on the kindness and competence of others, and the fearful memory of the days when it was cowering in a dark closet, waiting for the blow to fall, while the trade press laughed and jeered.
Mark Bernstein: Platform Control.
“Officials at the WES 2010 keynote said that RIM has redesigned all of the core applications within the BlackBerry operating system. It also revealed that there are 41 million BlackBerry users, and 90 million BlackBerrys have been sold to date.”
Apple already announced that they see 100 million iPhone OS devices sold by this summer. The installed base for iPhone OS devices is likely to be much greater than 40 million since most of the 85 million devices sold as of today were purchased less than 2 years ago. With the iPad and the iPod broadening the portfolio, the Apple mobile platform will grow more rapidly than RIM’s leading to increasing network effects.