What kind of numbers would constitute a new hit product for Apple? Assuming that research is accurate and Apple sold 12-million or so Watches in 2015, that’s a failed product when compared to the iPhone which sold in the hundreds of millions last year. Which iPhones currently in Apple’s line up are the ‘big hits?‘
The Big Small Hit
The mobile engagement platform Localytics does research which collects data which then needs to be analyzed. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes analyzed the data and thinks that ‘Big displays are not a big hit with iPhone and iPad users.’
In other words, if you thought Apple’s iPad Air lineup, and the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and 6s and 6s Plus were big hits for Apple, you would be wrong; according to the analysis. Of course, I wanted to know what constituted a ‘big hit’ so I poured through the same stats as Kingsley-Hughes.
During Apple’s early years, the iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen. Then, a few years ago, Apple went larger with a 4-inch display. For the sake of this argument, let’s call those two sizes standard for Apple, and the much larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models the ones with the big screens.
So, big screen iPhones– those with 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, respectively, have been on the market for barely 18-months, as opposed to the previous standard screen iPhones which existed from 2007 to 2016. If the new large screen iPhone models were to be a hit, what percentage of all iPhones in use would make it a hit?
According to the stats published by Kingsley-Hughes, the iPhone 6 is the most popular iPhone model with 32-percent. The iPhone 6s garners 12-percent. The iPhone 6 Plus gets 10-percent, and the newer 6s Plus gets 5-percent. That means the total for all of Apple’s large screen iPhones comes to 59-percent.
How is that not considered a hit product? After only 18-months on the market, Apple’s larger screen iPhones make up nearly 70-percent of all iPhones in use.
Well, what about the iPad? It’s a failing product because sales have been going down in recent years. Apple has doubled-down on the product and made it larger, so, for the sake of argument, let’s say the larger screen iPads are the iPad, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and the iPad Pro. If, according to Kingsley-Hughes reasoning, big displays are not a big hit with Apple customers, then how does the iPad fare?
The most popular iPad in use is the iPad Air at 18-percent. That means these devices are built like tanks and just keep working. That might account for sales slowdown. Who needs to upgrade? Next on the list is the iPad 2 at 17-percent. The iPad Air 2 is merely 12-percent, while the original iPad and the new iPad Pro combine for another 2-percent. Total? 49-percent of the iPad’s in use are large screen iPads.
How is it that large screen iPads are not considered a hit with Apple’s customers?
The reality is this. Apple sells a variety of products in different sizes and configurations to match customer needs. Depending upon your definition of hit and what you consider to be a large screen may alter the perspective but not the math. From iPhone to iPad, from smaller screen to larger screen, it appears that everything Apple makes these days is a hit.
So, what defines a hit product?