Apple iPhone 4S Blamed for Causing Slide in Smartphone Sales

October 25, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The recently launched Apple iPhone 4S has been blamed for causing a slide in smartphone sales in the US. The slide pertained not only to Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7, but also to the iPhone.

This particular information was gleaned from the data obtained from Verizon Wireless and AT&T, who incidentally were the only carriers offering the iPhone at that time.

The reason, they say, might be because consumers who go after high-end smartphones held their shopping till the iPhone 4S was launched, in order to make a decision.

The recession, however, was short-lived, as currently the iPhone 4S is Apple’s best-selling smartphone, and has crossed the sales of iPhone 4, at the time of its launch. The iPhone 4S was blamed for not being as revolutionary as expected, instead simply carrying some improvements and upgrades from the fourth generation iPhone.

But even then, carriers noted that they ran out of pre-order inventory and the smartphone was sold out on the first day of launch. The impact of the fall in sales was more for iOS rival Android, for a number of high-end Android smartphones like the EVO 3D, Photon 4G, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch and Droid Bionic were launched this summer.

According to Morgan Keegan analyst, Tim McCourt, the purchase of high-end smartphones in the US is near the completion mark, with AT&T and Verizon Wireless having a 45% customer share on smartphone plan. Carriers are giving offers on data plans which enable customers to switch from feature phones to smartphones.

The dip in sales, according to some analysts, is not alarming as people generally hold their buying decisions prior to a big phone’s launch. After the launch, the sales go back to how it was without much difference.

In a year, smartphone sales are on a high mainly during the holiday season in the fourth quarter and even the second quarter. The time between Q2 and Q3 generally experience a slight dip in sales.


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