As the world anticipates the release of the whiz-bang iPhone 8, we delve into the number of iPhones bought per year in the US, along with how much we’re spending on these devices. This includes projections for 2017.
The marketing-savvy Apple doesn’t publish its sales figures. But fear not: We’ve calculated a conservative estimate using readily available data on smartphone penetration rates and Apple’s iPhone market share.
How much are we spending on iPhones?
We crunched the numbers to reveal that iPhone sales are only getting more popular as time goes on. In fact, our estimation reveals that Americans have spent more than $103.7 billion on iPhones between 2012-2016. We predict that nearly $35 billion will be spent on iPhones in 2017 alone.
The iPhone’s market share …
Interestingly, the iPhone’s market share consistently peaks leading up to and following the release of a new model of iPhone, which commonly takes place in October each year.
We also predict how the release of the new iPhones – the 8, the 8 Plus and the X – will affect Apple’s market share.
How many iPhones are we purchasing?
Our calculations reveal that more than 159.6 million units have been sold between 2012-2016. iPhone sales have been relatively consistent since 2014, hitting their peak in 2016. We anticipate that 2017 will topple last year’s sales, coming in at USD $42,428,797.
iPhone statistics: 2012–2017
See how the iPhone has stacked up since 2012, including projections for 2017.
Source: finder.com, Trading Economics/Australian Bureau of Statistics, Kantar, Statista
Release dates and prices
Compare the release details of each model, from the iPhone 4s and up.
|iPhone 6 Plus
|iPhone 6s Plus
|iPhone 7 Plus
|iPhone 8 Plus
Source: iPhone 4s: US | iPhone 5: US | iPhone 5c: US | iPhone 5s: US | iPhone 6: US | iPhone 6 Plus: US | iPhone 6s: US | iPhone 6s Plus: US | iPhone SE: US | iPhone 7: US | iPhone 7 Plus: US, iPhone 8: US | iPhone 8: US | iPhone X: US.
*Prices based on entry-level iPhone models.
We estimated the number of iPhones purchased each year by adding the number of new iPhone users to the number of existing iPhone users who would want an upgrade.
How we estimated the number of new iPhone users
- We found the US smartphone penetration by dividing US smartphone users reported by Statista by that year’s US population, as reported by Trading Economics.
- We found the number of new smartphone users each year by multiplying US smartphone penetration (calculated in Step 1) with that year’s US population, as reported by Trading Economics. We then subtracted from this result the product of the smartphone penetration figure and the US population of the previous year.
- Finally, we multiplied the result of Step 2 by the average market share of the iPhone that year, according to Kantar. (Note: Because Kantar’s data is updated monthly, we added each data set together to find this average).
How we estimated the number of existing iPhone users upgrading that year
We calculated the percentage of people upgrading to new iPhones every year using the results of a 2015 US Gallup poll.
- Responders had the option to select when they’d upgrade from a) when a new model is released, usually about every year, b) as soon as your cellphone provider allows it, usually every two years or c) only when it stops working or becomes totally obsolete.
- For option c), we approximated the average lifespan of an iPhone at three years — because even though iPhones can last longer, human error often causes them to break long before they die of natural causes.
- We multiplied the percentage of people who responded a specific way by the result of 1 divided by the number of years they selected (for example, 51% of respondents selected 2 years = 0.51 x 1/2).
- We completed these calculations for all three responses and added them together to determine the average number of years iPhone users take to upgrade.
- We then divided the number of new iPhone users by the average number of years iPhone users take to upgrade to result in the number of iPhone users upgrading in a single year.
How we estimated 2017 iPhone market share
- We found iPhone market share for January–May 2017 via Kantar.
- June–December 2017 values are projections found by assessing the 2015–2016 YOY change.
- For June 2017 projection, we used June 2015 data subtracted from June 2016 data. This figure was then divided by June 2015 to obtain percentage growth from 2015–2016.
- This percentage was applied to the 2016 data to obtain the June 2017 projection.