When Apple lowered its iPhone sales expectations this week, it highlighted something that data already indicate a long time ago: the saturation of the mobile market, which after a few years of exponential growth seems to be touching ceiling.
"Fewer customers have renewed their phones compared to what we anticipated, some customers took advantage of the significant reduction in the cost of battery replacement", said Steve Jobs's successor at the head of the company.
Data on a large scale confirms Cook's observations: the mobile market is no longer growing as before and for example in the second quarter of 2018 (the last for which data are available globally), global smartphone sales fell by 1.8% over the same period in 2017.
Next to Apple, Samsung, the other titan of mobile phones, also experienced difficulties last year with its Galaxy S9, which had a cool reception among consumers.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), which produces these reports, during the three months of 2018, 342 million mobile phones were sold on the planet compared to 348.2 million last year, which was the third quarter consecutive drops fap.
"The combination of market saturation, increased penetration rates and an increasing average selling price have reduced the growth of the entire market" said IDC researcher Anthony Scarsella.
According to the expert, given this Many users pay more for their phones because of the price hikes they have bet moreTheir new devices are expected to have a longer life than previous models and are more reluctant to change.
This trend is confirmed by a study by Hyla Mobile Inc. According to mobile phone users have more and more time to change their device for a new model, being the average time during which an iPhone is kept in the US, for example, from almost three years.
In 2017, this average a "life" for Apple phones was 2.37 years old, while in the case of mobile phones with Android operating system, has passed 2.44 years on average in 2017 at 2.66 one year later.
When in his letter to Cook, he mentioned the low battery price, he referred precisely to the fact that in the past year many Apple customers They preferred to change the phone's battery instead of buying one of the new models.
It contributed to the fact that the company based in Cupertino (California) reduced the replacement price of the battery from $ 79 to $ 29 in 2018 in response to complaints from users accusing it of slowing down the operation of old phones.
Apple blamed most of their reduction expectations of China's economic downturn, where, in addition to saturation of the market, another factor seems to play against them: rising prices.
The company has progressively increased its phone prices in recent years, what made the iPhone has become a luxury device in some markets.
In China, for example, the Apple phone is the most expensive on the market, so in a period of growing economic insecurity, many customers opted for cheaper alternatives and benefits, in many cases almost identical.
XS XS and XS Max presented in 2018, for example, they did not show any significant changes compared to the previous year's model, and, in turn, are similar to many other brands of different brands.