Sep 17 AT 11:53 AM Nick Gray 33 Comments

Will the new iPhones shift the mobile scale into Apple’s favor?

apple-glass

The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be flooding the market in just a few days. Both phones are larger and better equipped than last year’s iPhone 5s, and pre-sale figures show that the two phones could help Apple post its highest-ever quarterly earnings report. We all know the hype will eventual die down, but the new iPhones may be actually have what Apple needs to strengthen its position in the smartphone market.

There are dozens of Android smartphone manufacturers around the globe, but only a handful of them are selling compelling devices and managing to make a profit. HTC’s sales have been on a downward slope for nearly two years, and things aren’t looking much better for Sony. Samsung appears to be the only Android manufacturer that’s been able to make a decent profit over the last few years, but even its profits took a 20 percent hit in the most recent quarter.

Apple has not been an innovator in the smartphone space for a long time. Six of the most compelling features in its new iPhones have been available to Android users for years. But none of that really matters, because consumers don’t buy features. They buy products that make them feel good. They buy products they believe are simple and intuitive. They buy products that fit their needs. Android has catered to those who want larger phones for some time, but now that Apple will offer phones with 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, the scale has been shifted and Android’s unprecedented growth may come to an end.

I’m not predicting doom and gloom for Android, but companies that have had success with larger phones will see a significant drop in sales. Since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were announced, I have spoken to 14 Samsung Galaxy Note users and found that 6 of them plan to buy the iPhone 6  or 6 Plus. The fascinating thing for me was learning that 4 of the 6 Note users have been loyal Samsung customers since the Samsung Galaxy S III. Fourteen Samsung Galaxy Note users isn’t a huge sample, but the numbers are significant even if 2 or 3 of the 14 opt for an iOS device instead of staying with Android.

We’ll need a good 6-12 months to know what the full impact of Apple’s larger iPhones will have on the overall smartphone market, but we should expect every smartphone market share report over the next few quarters will show Apple’s numbers on the rise.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • CJ

    No.

    • Richard Yarrell

      True Galaxy Note users won’t change or switch to iphone 6 Plus in my eyes because it doesn’t offer anything of any true significance it’s nothing more than a big screened smartphone with NO PURPOSE or true multitasking/productivity abilities.

      I can only laugh at Apple’s offering it pales in comparison to any Galaxy Note product. I will be purchasing the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge without fail.

      • squiddy20

        “True Galaxy Note users won’t change or switch to iphone 6 Plus in my eyes ” Well then… you’re incredibly blind/ignorant. Nothing new there.

        • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

          There is more than this, people invested in apps that may have to be purchased again on the Apple Store.

  • Roger

    That price…

  • Nigel

    Of course Apples products copying what have been on Android for years will help Apple slow its decline.

    I accept the general thrust thought that Americans who are brainwashed from birth by TV and god indoctrination will soak up a brand first and then be TOLD what features they want second and will buy the phone.

    I don’t think Android can solve that problem.

    Next action is with Google with Nexus X. Hopefully sensibly priced.

    • Guest

      Google or Android has a PR problem, esp with mainstream consumer press. Look at all the iPhone coverage on everything from Today & GMA to Kelly & Michael, The Talk and the network evening news. All those celebrities and media use iPhones and have no clue about Android. The coverage us amazing and most iPhone users have only used an iPhone and its very easy to get a new one every year or two

      • juandarkness

        I feel it’s more of an advertising problem. Rarely do you see the actual manufacturing company put out ads for their product. Mostly it’s the carriers that put out the ads. The companies need to put more money into advertising their product and I’d bet they would get a lot more sales. At least they’ll get their product out there in the customer eye and get more word of mouth.

  • Michael

    Fourteen Samsung Galaxy Note users isn’t a huge sample, but the numbers are significant even if 2 or 3 of the 14 opt for an iOS device instead of staying with Android.”

    You obviously know zero about how statistics work

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Please share your insight. I do statistical analysis on a weekly basis for my day job, so I’d like to know what’s wrong with my conclusion. The only issue is that I was not able to get input from more than 14 people. That being said, getting information from 14 is better than 10 and that’s a whole lot better than simply stating that some Android phablet users will opt for the iPhone 6 Plus without any evidence at all.

      • Erik

        I probably would have stated that “based on anecdotal evidence from an interview with 14 Samsung;..” I think would have been more accurate.

      • Monk

        You count me as the 15th sample. I currently have a Note 3 and previously had a Note1, Moto Milestone and iphone 3. I will not upgrade the phone this year since the improvements are not sufficient to migrate to a Note 4 or LG G3 from the Note 3.
        The iPhone 6 plus is the first iphone in years I would consider as option, but the lack of SD slot, removable battery, real NFC, WiFi display and proprietary/locked connectors/philosophy is a no go for me.

      • Guest

        Studies showed that 70% of those that left ios did so because of screen size. Apple fixed that plus incorporated many ios features resembling what people use on Android

    • BlazeHN

      What kind of people migrates to IOS after using a Galaxy Note phanblet anyways? Whats wrong with those folks? Galaxy Note experience is top of the top. I would’t consider any upgrade for my Note 3 other than the Note 4, and no, I am not a Samsung blind fanboy but its just the truth.

  • KR

    This same line of logic was floated when Apple freed itself from AT&T and eventually made its way to Verizon and other carriers. At this same point, Android hadn’t yet grown to offer the range of device sizes that it does, now.

    In the end, the people who wanted an iPhone eventually purchased one. That was where we would have seen the bulk of the change that we’re assuming may take place, now. Sure, some people have been holding out for a bigger take on the iOS experience, but for the most part, I don’t think this will be a major deciding factor.

    If opening up the iPhone to every major carrier in the US didn’t kill Android, I don’t think simply increasing the dimensions will, either. People like Android and they like iOS– both are mature operating systems and people will continue to buy both, especially when either OS can take advantage of emerging markets.

    • Guest

      It’s not going to kill Android but ios will grow, esp in the US. The sad thing is the division is starting to look like our hyper partisan politics. I everything is going to be Apple vs Android. Cars, payments, watches and features like facetime or iMessage that are Apple only. You have to be in the ‘club.’ And pretty much all Google Apps are available on ios while the opposite isn’t true. So Android users tied into Google won’t be missing much. Apple has even posted a page on how to transfer your info to the new iPhone

  • Roofus

    You really need to take a long look at the smartphone market worldwide and in the US if you think that Apple can make any real gains by strengthening their offering at the top tier of the market. That’s not where the real growth has been for years, which is why their market share has been shrinking for years.

    • Guest

      They care about profits not market share

      • BlazeHN

        And they profit waaaaay a lot, lolz

  • John Patrick

    It’s pretty soon to be predicting anything. I do wonder what percentage of iPhone 6 and 6+ buyers will be new Apple customers – as in don’t have an iTunes account – verses Apple enthusiasts getting an upgrade.

    • Guest

      Many people have iTunes accounts even without a Mac or IPhone dating back to iPod days. ITunes was always on Windows. You never hear media or artists exclaiming their album is #1 on Google Play store

  • Dee

    I wonder how many iPhone users will opt for the Note 4 due to nothing really new from apple besides the phone size difference. Apple didn’t have no Wow factor unveiling these two phones.You can call the Note edge a gimmick but its something no one else is doing and the phones overall tweeks were far better than the iPhones.

    • Guest

      Very few

  • Amy

    As a thoroughly invested Android user (currently Note 2 & Tab S and due for upgrade), my frustration isn’t with hardware specification or OS functionality. I am just very tired of being a second class citizen with respect to apps. For that reason, now that the iPhone hardware has caught up, I would consider switching.

    • Guest

      And camera. I can’t deal with the Nexus lack of quality

  • Guest

    A lot of Android users are switching to iPhone 6…Google is making a mistake not releasing L already. The more the wait, the more customers they’re losing. These latest Apple releases are specifically targeting Android users. I may leave soon and it looks like L is still more than a month away.. And by then, new iPhones may be readily in stock in time for the holidays

  • Odie

    I can see some consumers going back to Apple if they have no brand loyalty to a given Android OEM, but I doubt Apple will regain all of its lost customers that left when Samsung, LG, HTC, and others began to offer bigger phones. Galaxy Note people that really use the features of the Note series will likely stay as Apple has nothing to counteract the S Pen and multitasking features.

    I feel like the people that do switch the to iPhone wouldn’t be loyal to Apple either as I’m sure many of them would switch to something else if a specific phone was compelling enough.

  • rex

    I’m not sure about your statistics, it’s easy to get biased results from small samples and generalize them for all of the world. Apple has never been a big smartphone player anywhere except in the US and several other countries. I think their impact will be limited, from small to non-existent.

    What I do know is that iOS8 is in no way optimized for large 4+ inch screens. The buttons-rich design and their positioning at the top of the screen combined with the two-click gesture that lowers the screen (Reachability) are the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever seen come out of Apple. I’ve already seen half-reviews saying that using Reachability gets old very fast. So, from that perspective it’s obvious that Apple needs to completely rethink its design language for the big screen, something that Google did several years ago.

    On the other hand, Apple has a very homogenized ecosystem and I’m sure the worker bees will be more than happy to quickly update their apps if Daddy Tim says so. :)

    So, we’ll see what Apple comes up next year. :)

  • jake

    How come Google didn’t patent big screens on phones? Because now Apple surely will.

  • surethom

    Partly yes, alot of iPhone fans left apple because of the small screen whole others left for other reasons, I see quite a few moving back to the bigger iPhone.

    I think many currently t iPhone users will upgrade but I boat see apples share increasing much.

  • jamal adam

    I’d say that we can’t make any conclusions especially since they are so new and plus we are forgetting that the Note 4 is coming out next month. However, I’d like to think that yes there will be those that shift towards Apple and their new phones but that the majority will still favor Android. Also, we have yet to see the release of Android L and if you think about it most Android flagships are some 5+ months old.

  • Rich Crigger

    I have always said as I owned the S3, S4, and S5 – If Apple would make a larger iPhone I would switch, since I have a Macbook Pro and iPad, it would only make since – Comparing the Note 4 vs the iPhone 6+, I think I will stay with Samsung

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    The big question should have been “Will iPhones bend the scale?”, because the answer has already been given: iPhones do absolutely bend (pun intended).

    Regarding statistics, 10 or 14 do not really make a good base. I studied this in college. The subjects have to be chosen in a way that would make the results feasible. The conclusion comes a little hasted. I, for one, would not switch to iPhones or iPads, because of the price and because of the money I have invested into the Android ecosystem. I will not switch sides now, it’s too late. Those who switch sides do it because of the curiosity and (maybe) because they just wanted a bigger iPhone.