Overall smartphone sales slip—
Lines for the iPhone 4S in San Francisco were orderly and bearable on October 14 for the Apple faithful and those who wanted to step up to the latest edition of Apple’s smartphone.
With all the excitement surrounding the new iPhone, it seems almost contradictory that smartphone sales for Apple and Android devices were actually down during the third quarter of this year.
One industry watcher believes he has the answer for this: the iPhone 5.
Waiting for the “Big one”
Tavis McCourt, a senior analyst for Morgan Keegan & Company, said Apple and Android smartphone sales took a dive during April-June and theorized that it was due to buyers waiting for the iPhone 5 (which turned out to be the iPhone 4S instead). According to McCourt on CNN:
“Obviously, a big part of this was the impact of the iPhone 4S being delayed until Q4, but there are also some ominous signs for Android vendors in these results given that there were a number of Android launches in the quarter at AT&T and Verizon, and yet Android sales likely declined sequentially and had only modest growth…”
Although the reason behind slow sales for Apple and Android phones may be related to tech-fans holding out for the iPhone 5, which did not make its appearance, there may be another reason: oversaturation of products.
There are only so many people that can purchase the newest tech, and this year’s offerings continue to be announced and promoted at a furious rate.
The two-edged sword
New products, theoretically at least, draw in new customers. But in the case of smartphones, people may have experienced smartphone-overload. Because so many new products are entering the market, consumers may have just seen too much, too fast.
It isn’t economically feasible
For people who want the latest tech, they’ll wait for the “flagship” or more powerful models before committing to a purchase. Why buy “tweener” tech when they can just wait it out for the most advanced models?
For Android fans, this means the Droid RAZR or Galaxy Nexus. And of course, for the iPhone crowd, it’s for the almost mythical appearance of the iPhone 5.
Bottom line: people can only buy so many new phones per year.
Written by: Frank Ling on Monday, October 24, 2011 – 3:45 PM
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