back to article European smartphone market rallies but Apple didn't get the memo

Retailers in Europe – perhaps burned by excess inventory issues this year – have yet to rekindle their love affair with the iPhone as Apple failed to catch a lift on the back of a regional Q3 upswing in demand across the wider market. According to figures collated by Canalys, Apple sold 9.8 million mobiles in the quarter, down …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

    "Apple blamed a battery replacement programme, crappy demand in China and people holding onto their devices for longer as reasons for the weaker sales, and it dropped prices as a result to help clear the inventory bottleneck"

    Strange that the exorbitant price for a product that has no truly "advanced features", other than a sickening quantity of "stomp on your head" publicity, was not deemed as a reason for weaker sales.

    I would hate to imagine the astronomical amounts of cash that Apple pump into their "awareness" program.. You know the one where every damned publicity image in the railway station was paid for by Apple marketing..

    It makes owning anything Apple damned embarrasing, like wearing a Nike shellsuit.

    1. a pressbutton

      Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

      Quite correct.

      Comparing phones to fashion brands is a valid thing to do.

      Consider Lacoste or French connection or any number of brands that became popular through clever marketing, overexpanded - over diluting their (upmarket) identity, or just fell of the wave they rode.

      Apple has the store that reduces the defection rate, but, that wont help.

      However I do not see teenagers choosing Android because their parents have iphones.

      So this might be just a blip.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

        I got a shock a couple of years ago when visiting one of the fine outlets of House of Fraser, finding out that stuff marked with expensive brand names didn't seem to be anything like as well made as what you get at M&S or Rohan.

        iPhones do actually seem to be better in some ways than the great majority of Androids - their water resistance, for instance, and their display accuracy - but the Androids that do as well nowadays cost as much.

        If Apple sales are down it may be because expansion is in Eastern Europe where their prices are effectively two or three times higher versus purchasing power. But it also may be in part because, having gained a perception of being extremely expensive, Apple is going to have the problem of how to reverse it. As everyone knows, it is much harder to regain a customer than to lose one.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Apple is going to have the problem of how to reverse it

          Um, I don't see that Apple considers being expensive as a problem. Apple has always been "reassuringly expensive", and it has become a giant on that very notion.

          I don't see Apple changing any time soon.

    2. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

      It's not a fashion. It's not wanting to have something that their friends "consider" inferior or even just different to what they have. Or maybe that is exactly what fashion is.

    3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

      people holding onto their devices for longer as reasons for the weaker sales

      Oh, DUH!

      If the prices of the phones weren't "over the top", consumers would have reason to upgrade sooner rather than "why bother?".

      crappy demand in China

      In India, guess what the fastest selling mobile phone manufacturer is.

      If Apple can't dominate the mobile phone market in China and India, all bets are off. If I may be allowed to quote the late Bill Pullman, "Game over, man. Game over!"

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

        > "Game over, man. Game over!"

        Bill Paxton, not Pullman, Aliens.

    4. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

      For a start Apple's advertising is much more subtle that many others. You have no point there apart from Apple bashing.

      As far as Apple marketing goes, the strategy is put into making great products. The others copy what Apple does (even the advertising).

      Apple analyse the usage of these devices – that is how they set the form factor that the others have followed with inferior products based on off-the-shelf software of Linux and Android. They others are just hardware companies that copy, but really don't have an understanding.

      The others also subsidise their prices from other markets in electronics and white goods as well as selling your details to other advertisers. Apple protects users from that – but this is obviously resented by the advertising industry who want your details.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

        And there was me thinking Apple never responded to Reg articles.

  2. regadpellagru

    "With no compelling reason to upgrade, people didn't."

    Actually, there is one compelling reason to upgrade: bragging about.

    Oh, wait ? Did Apple leave the personal tech market and move onto the luxury market ?

  3. YARR

    Brexit stockpiling...

    ... because those phones are made in the EU?

  4. DCFusor

    Economic clue

    Despite government reporting ... is "inaccuracies" polite enough? ... statements - the economy around the whole world is pretty weak now. Including that most of the world who aren't trying to blame everything on Brexit to score partisan points - different excuses obtain in different locales, but they're all blaming anything but the real causes. A mirror would be frighteningly instructive.

    Yes, stocks are up, but it's all P/E, not fundamentals. Money-printing by the central banks can only take things so far.

    And yes, when that happens, the perceived poor value for money things tank first and the most.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Economic clue

      Apple and other US company share values are currently backed by "quantitative easing" which, if it was a South American country, would be causing hyperinflation.

      The problem with QE is that it only works if the real economy is actually expanding as fast as or faster than the money supply. Where's the evidence that this is happening in the US? 7 million car loans are apparently at least 90 days overdue, which is hardly an encouraging sign. It's 2008 but without the overvalued Florida condos classed as AAA debt.

      I hope I last long enough to see where Apple and Facebook are in three years, not because I hope to see them fail but to see if the old law that you can't fake the economy forever holds true.

  5. ExampleOne

    Surely in this era of ecosystems sales of the phone is less important than the number of phones in use in each ecosystem? If people are using Apple phones for longer than they are keeping their Android phones, the sales won’t correspond to ecosystem size.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Depends on what you make money from. If you make money selling phones, you care about how many are sold, not how many are used. Whatever they can say, they still makes more money from selling phones than selling "services".

  6. IGotOut Silver badge

    It's odd...

    That for the last couple of years the most anticipated and requested, iPhone has never arrived, namely an SE2.

    Not everyone wants a 10" £1000+ phone. If they came out with a 6" for for a fraction of that price, they would fly off the shelves.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: It's odd...

      Yes but, Apple doesn't want to give those customers choosing Apple a choice of a cheaper handset. If you have a locked in customer base you might as well bleed them.

      My better half didn't really care about which phone she had but she was into the Apple ecosystem to an extent it was going to be difficult (and expensive) to move out. So she held her nose and bought a 'cheaper' iPhone although that was still much more expensive than the equivalent 'droid.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's odd...

      I think you may be confused here between the phone industry and the sex toy industry. The biggest iPhone has a 6.5 inch display.

      Personally I think with phones width is more important than length*. Only one manufacturer currently makes a phone with a width significantly less than 70mm, and they don't sell well at all.

      *oo err miss etc. etc.

      1. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Re: It's odd...

        I don't have particularly large hands, and so a phone around 7 cm wide is about right for me. Any phone that is much wider than that, for me, feels rather awkward (and a little painful) to hold in my hand, and to grip securely.

        By all means make larger size phones for those whose hands (and pockets) are comfortable with them, but it's important that designers don't forget about those of use who have smaller hands and fingers as well.

  7. MooseMonkey

    Too well made?

    I think some of the middle aged iPhones may have been too well made, my iphone 6 looks like new, and is just about to have it's sixth birthday. It almost does all that I want, and absolutely does all that I need. That said, it's on it's way to the great iPhone recycling centre in the sky, as through some drastic overstocking of the iPhone 8, I have secured a deal that would make Apple cry this week. I wouldn't have changed, but the water resistant nature of the iPhone 8 is useful for me when I'm out paddleboarding.

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