It’s a good news/bad news situation for Apple. While sales for the company’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7-Plus are nearly on par with those of the previous models, the company is not wooing many Android users to its platform.
According to research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the iPhone 7 and 7-Plus together accounted for more than two-thirds (35% and 33%, respectively) of new iPhone sales over the first quarter of 2017. Those numbers are slightly lower than comparative 6s and 6s Plus phone sales from the previous year, and down from the first-quarter sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were the first to feature larger screens. While CIRP doesn’t measure how specific feature changes affect sales, the data does show consumers aren’t seeing as great a need to upgrade as they were in years past, says Michael Levin, the firm's partner and co-founder.
“Two years ago, the iPhone 6/6 Plus accounted for 78% of sales in the March 2015 quarter,” Leven tells Marketing Daily. “The iPhone 7/7 Plus, 6S/6S Plus, and 6/6 Plus all have the same form factor, and look very much alike. That might explain why the last two launches seem to have slowed down relative to the initial 6/6 Plus, when Apple introduced the larger phone.”
The good news for Apple is sales of the larger-screen 7-Plus were about equal to those of the smaller-screen 7, highlighting the continued demand for larger screens. However, most of the new phones — both 7 and 6s lines — sold came from legacy customers upgrading their phones. The majority of buyers — 41% for iPhone 7 and 7-Plus; 49% for 6s and 6s-Plus — were upgrading from Apple models that were two years old or older. Only 10% of iPhone 7 and 7-Plus buyers (and 26% of iPhone 6s and 6s-Plus) buyers were switching from Android-based phones.
“Most iPhone 7 and 7 Plus buyers do come from previous iPhones, and fewer come from Android phones,” Levin says. “Platform loyalty is as high as we’ve seen, both for Android and iOS, so we see much less switching between the two operating systems than ever before.”