Apple’s iPhones are selling better than ever. With Apple smartphones now coming in at all kinds of different price points, it’s no surprise that Cupertino managed to ship 13.7 million iPhones in 2008. The iPhone 3GS took the world by storm with 5.2 million units shipped in Q2 2009, and enjoys a 99% satisfaction rating. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to new research from Bernstein Research analyst Tony Sacconaghi and RBS Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky.
Sacconaghi estimates that Apple will reach annual iPhone sales of 50 million units by September of 2011. Apple is expected to sell something like 11 million iPhones in 2011 with a future Verizon iPhone deal, with many more expected to ship out to China, once Apple and China Unicom finalize their partnership and announce their plans. Double-digit growth (27% per year) of the smartphone market in 2010 and 2011 will help bring the iPhone to the masses.
Abramsky goes even further, estimating that Apple will see annual iPhone sales of 82.1 million units in 2012. At that point, Apple will have captured 5.7% of the global mobile phone market, with 16.3% of the smartphone market to boot – smartphones will also make up 35.1% of global cellphone shipments in 2012. Abramsky’s views of the smartphone market are a bit more enthusiastic than Sacconaghi – the smartphone segment will see tremendous growth in coming years and will allow Apple to “sustain its lead in content, games, and apps, which we expect to expand to include mobile commerce, user-generated content, advanced gaming, etc.,” giving the company an even broader reach in the smartphone market.
Now, these numbers are all projections, and should be taken with a grain of salt. HTC and Samsung are fast catching up to Apple’s iPhone, and Android poses a real threat to the iPhone OS. It should be interesting to see how this all plays out.