iPhone still, 10 years later, driving up Apple sales

2 Aug 2017

iPhones are still immensely popular. Image: Dmitry A/Shutterstock

Apple has sold 1.2bn iPhones since they first launched in 2007, with soaring sales continuing into the company’s latest quarterly figures.

Massive iPhone sales shouldn’t be a surprise anymore, but, yet again, the smartphone’s popularity has beaten estimates in Apple’s Q3 results.

With the iPhone’s 10th anniversary this year, and Apple looking to cash in on the landmark with the iPhone 8 release this September, the company could be forgiven for resting on its laurels a small bit.

Best is yet to come

However, 41.03m sales of iPhones will probably mark the lowest quarter of the four this year, with enthusiasm and purchase intent regularly exploding in the following results as the newer model is released.

Apple is expected to adopt higher-resolution OLED displays for the next iPhone, along with better touchscreen technology and wireless charging.

With some estimates putting the price tag higher than $1,000, other elements of the device may include an infrared face unlock tool in BiometricKit, which will essentially work as facial authentication on the same framework as Touch ID.

Named Pearl ID, the suggestion is that the facial recognition will act as an unlock feature even in the dark, and it won’t even need users’ full face in view of the screen.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is testing iris scanning to augment the system. Speed and accuracy are understood to be the focal points of Apple’s new technology and it is claimed that the chip can scan a user’s face and unlock an iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds.

Huge figures

With well in excess of 140bn app downloads onto iPhones since the Apple smartphone’s 2007 release, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how technology is used to share content.

About $70bn has been paid to iOS app developers in that time, with more than 1bn devices sold throughout the world, earning the company eye-watering sums of money.

Beyond the iPhone, too, Apple saw some interesting spikes. iPad revenue growth continued but, perhaps far more surprisingly, sales of the Apple Watch rose 50pc on last year.

The company forecast total revenue of between $49bn and $52bn for the current quarter, with analysts expecting the former, rather than the latter.

Last month, Apple took the unprecedented step of opening up about its research in the area of machine learning.

Well, opening up is a bit of a stretch, but the company doesn’t normally do this kind of thing either.

The Machine Learning Journal is a blog focused on machine learning papers and sharing Apple’s findings.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic