iPhone 4S Sales Could Change the Mobile Landscape

iPhone 4S CustomersSince the iPhone 4S became available, it’s been clobbering a lot of sales records, but the number other smartphone makers should keep an eye in this one: Almost a quarter of the buyers around the world told Reuters they were walking away from Android, BlackBerries and Nokias in favor of the iPhone.

Reuters conducted an informal and small poll — just a 127 people. But Jason Hiner at TechRepublic says statisticians have told him the past that more than 100 can be meaningful if they were picked in the right way. So Reuters’s this isn’t definitive by any means, it’s certainly worth paying attention to.

The numbers should be especially worrisome to RIM. Twenty eight of the folks Reuters spoke to said they were switching to the iPhone from another device, some of them pointing out they were BlackBerry users. For them, RIM’s outage last week was exquisitely timed.  As for Nokia, a customer in Sydney said he thought the company had “lost their way in terms of interface and everything.” Besides, he added, most of his friends use Apple.

On top of all that, there’s much to recommend the 4S to business users. RIM still claims to be a player in that market, though Apple says 93 percent of the Fortune 500 is testing the iPhone. Plus, Gartner says Apple’s market share for mobile phones globally rose from 2.4 percent to 4.6 percent in the second quarter, measured year over year.

Take heart, RIM. In another not-so-scientific poll, the Guardian says a third of the people who bought the 4S in one of London’s Apple Stores said they’d have bought a BlackBerry if the iPhone didn’t exist.  (Unfortunately under the same circumstances, more than half said they’d have bought an Android device. )

And, of course, iOS has a long way to go before it truly threatens Android. In the second quarter, Google’s OS held 62 percent of the mobile phone market (remember Apple’s 4.6?). Things may get even more interesting when Google and Samsung unveil the Nexus Galaxy Ice Cream Sandwich on Wednesday in Hong Kong (10 pm Tuesday night Eastern Time).

Photo: The Daily Mail

No Responses to “iPhone 4S Sales Could Change the Mobile Landscape”

  1. Reuters used a small sample set for an informal non-scientific poll (one might call this sort of poll completely unethical if one cared about things like facts in things like reporting since CLEARLY people are going to use it out of context, but I digress).

    A blogger at Dice has a friend who was told once by a polling firm that if you do it the right way, you can get meainingful data from a small sample set. This blogger then takes the bold and completely unfounded leap to combine the possibility that Reuters’ informal poll might actually mean something because a friend told him once that a statistician said it might be so maybe sometimes.

    PRESTO! Instant stupid “professional tech blogger” post.

    “…it’s certainly worth paying attention to.”

    No, it’s not. You are an embarrassment to bloggers everywhere. There are far better polls and, even better, hard sales and market penetration data over long periods of time to point to which indicate trouble for RIM. An informal poll of people standing in line to buy an iPhone is completely useless.

    So when the next big Android phone is released and 100 buyers are surveyed to see what they switched from and when ~25% say they used to own an iPhone, should Apple feel threatened? NO, because it’s a completely meaningless biased sample group.

    I hope Dice isn’t paying you for your opinions. This is just sad.

    • Well, yeah, Dice does pay me. If you follow the link to Jason Hiner’s piece you’ll see the rationale behind running the numbers. Here it is:


      Of course, Hiner’s only the editor of TechCrunch so he has, like, no credibility in these things.

      You’ll also note I said the poll isn’t definitive but is worth paying attention to, which it is. And I don’t think it was used out of context. Of course if you don’t think it’s worth paying attention, you’re free not to.

      Anyway, gotta run. I’ve got to go call all my blogger friends to tell them I’m sorry I embarrassed them.

    • I’m not sure if you noticed, Timothy, that the blogger who “embarrassed bloggers everywhere” concedes that this is a not-so-scientific endeavor. More than once. The Reuters poll is horribly biased in terms of observing the overall smartphone market. However, it’s a rather good poll to observe the habits of the iPhone market. This is my opinion after going through all the data myself—I am a social scientist who regularly researches social behavior; these kind of statistics are what I do with my life.
      This data really means that while people purchasing the iPhone 4S may be switching over from other smartphones, it does not mean that people with other smartphones will switch to the iPhone 4S. However, it is a good barometer for where the market MAY go in the near future. But market speculation is just that: speculation.

  2. Interesting. I did not see a differentiation between people who were switching from RIM devices, and those who were switching from other smartphone devices (i.e. Android). Obviously RIM has stagnated and people will move away from it. But, are people moving from other “rich” devices like Android and Windows mobile to Apple?