Of course, the phrases must be defined, and they frequently refer to entire volume and sales rather than just profits. Due to the open platform that allowed dozens of manufacturers to produce a vast range of devices at various price points as opposed to… just a few devices on the Mac side, Microsoft’s Windows workstations have always outsold Macs.
The iPhone 14 series is soon to arrive, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max in particular is receiving most of the interest. If you’re interested in the smartphone market, you undoubtedly already know how crucial flagship phones are in determining a company’s story and, consequently, its fortunes. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, in my opinion, is not only another flagship device, but also a chance for Apple to alter the industry’s power dynamics and endanger the entire Android flagship ecosystem. I’ll explain. Debating open versus closed platforms. For many years, the adage “open platforms always win closed platforms” was regarded as the golden standard.
In just the last couple of years, we have witnessed the tide turning and for the first time, a closed platform is rising to power. The first major market where this actually just happened is… the United States! Just recently, the Counterpoint Research (via a Financial Times report) concluded that for the first time since 2010, Apple’s iPhones are the most widely used phones in the United States.
Then iOS and Android arrived, and a similar situation developed: every year, there were dozens or even hundreds of new Android devices at every price point and form factor, but very few iPhones. These iPhones are frequently criticised for being pricey and coming in just one or a small number of form factors. Although they undoubtedly contributed to Apple’s financial success, those expensive iPhone models did little to affect volume or overall sales. In the end, Android phones consistently sold in far bigger volumes all around the world, while iPhones kept a smaller but steady market share.
The importance of the active installed base number stems from the fact that for Apple, it is not just about the iPhone they sell. The iPhone just so happens to be the hub that connects to your AirPods, Apple Watch, the device you play Apple TV+ on, the home of Apple Arcade, the perfect companion for a Macbook. Calling it a gateway drug to the Apple ecosystem would be an understatement.
This comes via tracking the “active installed base”, a metric far less volatile and far more significant than quarterly or monthly smartphone sales. Apple has now hit 50% share in the US, a major milestone. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is an even bigger threat to Android than you may think