iPhone outsells smart phones in US

5 Sep 2007

Apple’s iPhone outsold all smart phones in the US during July and equalled the sales of the most popular phones on sale State-side, accounting for 1.8pc of all mobile handset sales.

Research from market intelligence player iSuppli found that most iPhone purchasers were male, 35 years of age or younger and possessed a four-year college degree or more.

Strong early consumer uptake conforms with iSuppli’s forecast of 4.5m iPhones shipping in 2007, rising to more than 40m units in 2011.

It is good news for Apple whose CEO Steve Jobs handled the hype machine behind the coveted device like a master showman.

More showmanship is expected later today when Apple unveils “top secret” new devices. The rumour mill suggests a new range of iPod media players that boast the same touchscreen technology found on the iPhone.

Yesterday Apple’s shares jumped 4pc thanks to the usual feverish speculation.

iSuppli says that just two months after it debuted, sales of the iPhone are now equal to the most popular-selling phone in the US.

It is envisaged that when the iPhone debuts in Europe next month, Apple will go with at least three operators to carry the iPhone; including O2 in the UK, T-Mobile in Germany and Orange in France.

In the US, where AT&T is the exclusive service provider for the iPhone, one quarter of consumers who bought the device switched to AT&T’s service.

The US experience has been mesmerising thanks to the hype machine.

iSuppli’s US Consumer Panel Survey revealed the two models of the iPhone now on the market outsold all smart phones in July, including the Blackberry series, the entire Palm portfolio, and any individual Motorola, Nokia, Samsung or other smart phone model from a branded service provider.

The iPhone’s US sales in July were equal to those of the most popular feature phone, LG’s Chocolate. iSuppli classifies the iPhone as a crossover phone, with attributes that put it in competition both with smart phones and with feature phones.

While the iPhone has some features associated with smart phones, users cannot load third-party software onto the product, which is a key requirement to qualify for smart phone status. iSuppli defines feature phones as handsets that have rich functionality.

In its longterm outlook for the iPhone, iSuppli says that real proof of success will come in the coming months as demand patterns stabilise.

Based on consumer demand, Apple’s brand image, industry anticipation and iSuppli’s estimates of volume shipments by manufacturers and the market segment, iSuppli is maintaining its projection that 4.5m iPhones will ship in 2007, rising to more than 30m units in 2011.

By John Kennedy