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Tuesday, 24 September 2013 13:53

Apple shouts 9 million sales but let’s not get too excited Tim

iPhone 5S iPhone 5S

Never shy to beat its own drum, Apple naturally felt compelled to tell the world through press release that it sold 9 million new iPhone 5s, beating all analyst expectations.  However, should we have expected any less given the pent up demand from a vast iPhone user base needing an upgrade?

In this mad disposable consumer world, one of the problems that Apple created for itself was the outstanding build quality of the iPhone 4 series.

When the iPhone 5 hit the market last year, many of us iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users took one look at a slightly taller, thinner and lest robust version of what we already had and said “no thanks”. However, as we all know, these phones are only really meant to last a couple of years, so there are a lot of iPhone 4 series users itching to upgrade right now who weren’t ready last year.

Now along comes the iPhone 5S, touting a 64-bit chip and “cool” new fingerprint sensor, and the biggest base ever of earlier model iPhone users who were just waiting for the new model to hit stores before they upgraded. Of course the first weekend of sales was going to be very strong.

The true test, however, will be whether Apple can sustain that early sales momentum going forward. There are tens of millions of earlier model iPhone users who gave the iPhone 5 the cold shoulder and are still considering whether they should go with a bigger screen Android (or maybe even Windows?) phone – I’m one of them.

Right now, I’m leaning toward the iPhone 5S purely because of the upgrade convenience factor. I don’t care about the fingerprint sensor or the chip under the hood. What I care about is that I can transfer everything I have on my iPhone 4 seamlessly across. I also care about the build quality. Those are the ticks in the box.

On the negative side, I would like a larger screen than the iPhone 5S because I want to use my phone for web browsing while I’m on the move and I can’t fit a tablet in my pocket. However, Apple isn’t about to give us that anytime soon, so I’m still undecided as to whether I should bite the bullet and try something outside the Apple fold like a Samsung Galaxy or a 4.7 inch HTC or stick with what I know.

This is what I’m thinking, what many of my friends and acquaintances who have iPhone 4s are thinking and, if we’re thinking that way, you can bet many others are too. No doubt many will choose to stay within the Apple fold but many others will choose to venture outside and try something else. The question for Apple will be how many of those customers will it lose?

Oh by the way, in case you may not have noticed, I didn't mention the iPhone 5C - that's because I'm not interested in it as an upgrade.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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