back to article Predictably grim Q2 for mobe sales, but iPhone SE proves pretty moreish as gateway drug for Android defectors

The US smartphone market took a battering in the second quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus disrupted all facets of American life and prompted states to shut down their economies. Overall, retailer sell-through dropped 25 per cent, according to new analysis from Counterpoint Research, with devices on pre-paid plans the most …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Gateway drug

    As a "gateway drug" to the iOS ecosystem, the iPhone SE 2020 is surprisingly effective, with 26 per cent of buyers former Android users, according to Counterpoint North America research director Jeff Fieldhack.

    I suspect this is limited to North America, not seen any SE's here in Europe and the Android devices for that price are generally stunning. While Apple and others went bigger and more expensive, Xiaomi and others crammed ever more tech into cheaper models. Apple does have some advantage in both network and Hotel Cupertino effect, which suck family members in and then they find it difficult to leave. But for everyone else, it's increasingly difficult to tell Android and IOS devices apart.

    There will also, no doubt, be a pool of users who held off switching phones because they didn't want or need anything bigger.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Gateway drug

      There are loads of SE selling Europe. They are not easy to see because they look the same as older generation iPhones.

    2. Colin Wilson 2

      Re: Gateway drug

      > not seen any SE's here in Europe

      My wife got one back in May - so there’s at least one :)

      Predictably it cost £419 - not $399. But that’s Brexit for you...

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Gateway drug

        What kind of phone did she have before?

      2. Open Sauce

        Re: Gateway drug

        The irony of choosing a $399 overpriced and underspec'ed phone and then complaining about paying £105 more

  2. martinusher Silver badge

    There are alternatives

    I needed a new phone this year so I bought a Honor 9X, a Huawei budget phone. What I got compared to a SE was approximately twice the phone for approximately half the cost. I had to mail order it because in the US phones mostly come from provider's stores and these providers only offer a very limited range of makes -- typically just Apple and Samsung with maybe a handful of low end devices to round out the range. This deprives us of some astoundingly good devices and offers yet another reason why our government is anti-Huawei -- its cheaper to buy politicians than invest in developing competitive products.

    (...and yes, you could say it was part phone, part political statement...)

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: There are alternatives

      There are some absolutely wonderful phones out there for reasonable money, superbly executed hardware. Problem is that these lovely gadgets run a low rent OS, hence the continued popularity of the expensive iPhones.

      Fortunately, the expense of these Apple devices is partly hidden when it is a monthly payment and not an upfront cost, which is good for me because I can pick them up on the cheapo when they become available on the used market.

      Cheap phone, avoid Android. win win.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: There are alternatives

        We get it: you don't like Google. And there are plenty of reasons not to.

        This doesn't mean it isn't an excellent company and can't develop good software. Android really is an excellent smartphone OS and has been leading feature innovation over IOS for about the last five years.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: There are alternatives

      Interesting. Probably explains the relative popularity in the US. In Europe, phone and contract have been incomingly increasingly separated and the kind of exclusive bundles that are common in the US are not legal here. Helps explain why ARPU in Europe is about 1/3 that of the US.

  3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Both myself and the wife are on our second SEs. For me it's a reaction to the 6 plus I had - I found myself envying the smaller footprint she had in her 5. So when we upgraded last time, it was to the original SE, and that's what we've just replaced.

    If anything, the SE 2020 is a bit too big for my taste, having got used to the smaller form factor of the old SE, but unfortunately that's all there is.

  4. Justthefacts

    Iphones keep the lights on

    I always hear how “iPhones are pointless showoff things for people too stupid, etc.....”

    There’s an angle that I believe technical folk miss. I run a small business, with website that sells physical moderately high-value retail goods. Analytics tells me:

    40% of my website traffic comes from IOS devices.

    80% of purchases are made by IOS devices.

    85%+ of *transaction value* comes from IOS devices.

    Traffic from non-IOS devices actually *lose* me a bit of money overall, because the ad cost-per-click exceeds the revenue they generate. Although I still need to service that traffic adequately, because a household considering a purchase may contain a variety of devices, or someone might surf on their work PC & buy at home on their iPad. That I can’t tell.

    My point is: the relevant number for IT people is 40%.... but business owners care about the *85%*.

    This is why people are so fussed about supporting whatever stupid features Cupertino deem desirable. You *have* to give IOS users a perfect user experience to stay in business. Everyone else like Android, it’s the electronic equivalent of not putting the phone down because you’re too polite.

    1. Open Sauce

      Re: Iphones keep the lights on

      That's all well and good, but the majority of people aren't running small businesses, what you've written is irrelevant and doesn't benefit the average person, so why should we care ?

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