The most successful product ever?

iPhone consumerism changes the market

Story by Joseph Rodgers, news editor

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, certain manufactured products and goods have been wildly successful and have defined globalized culture: Toyota Corollas, McDonald’s’ Big Macs, Coca-Colas, Rubik’s Cubes, Harry Potter books, Star Wars movies, the list goes on. However, not one of these products has changed human behavior and been so successful as Apple’s iPhone.

Speaking economics, Apple still holds the most profitable quarter of any public company ever. One estimate shows that Apple spent $150 million to develop the iPhone. In the final three months of 2014 alone, Apple sold 74.4 million iPhones worth $51.1 billion which blew away Wall Street’s expectations.

Additionally, Apple is on track to becoming the first trillion dollar company– just from iOS devices. Apple reached $900 million in iOS sales in the middle of 2017, but possesses over $100 million worth in services such as apps, subscriptions, and media. Therefore, it is easy to assume that Apple has already surpassed the $1 trillion mark.

Arguably, Android products and Samsung devices have a greater breadth of products and are currently outselling those of Apple, but Android in and of itself is a license, not a product. The growth of the smartphone market is in Android-licensed devices which are rapidly catching up to Apple, but the top Android-licensed company, Samsung, still does not compare to Apple’s revenue. The top-selling Samsung phone is not a part of the Galaxy series, but even when you add the revenue of all the top-selling Samsung devices up, they pale in comparison to the revenue generated from the top-selling iPhones in the iPhone series.

This is not to say that Android-licensed devices and Samsung phones are inferior to the iPhone, but rather to analyze how their revenues have shaped over time. Samsung’s revenue is now projected to overtake that of Apple which may disrupt Apple’s market share value forever. The iPhone is truly facing much more competition now then when it entered the market– Google, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Lenovo, LG, Sony and others are all large smartphone companies competing with Apple as the market further diversifies.

Furthermore, when determining the most successful product, economics is only one portion of the evaluation. The iPhone has not only built the foundation for its parent company Apple, but it has led to millions of other apps and programs by acting as a medium for those applications. Apple has created an unprecedented versatility and durability that has transformed the smartphone market.

The iPhone has not only built the foundation for its parent company Apple, but it has led to millions of other apps and programs by acting as a medium for those applications. ”

— Rodgers

Not only has it done all this, but it has changed human behavior. Nearly everywhere you go, people are looking down at a smartphone. Before the invention of the iPhone, this behavior simply did not exist. Blackberrys were considered to be the phone of choice, but Apple’s smartphone eventually rendered them obsolete and dethroned them from that position. Now, the iPhone is the first non-consumable product to have 1 billion units sold causing behaviors associated with iPhones to spread worldwide.

The mere fact that so much controversy surrounds the new iPhone X shows its popularity. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus alone sold over 200 million units, and consumers expect Apple’s high quality smartphones and new innovative technology such as Face ID to be revolutionary to the general population just like the first iPhone was revolutionary to the market over time.

Not many people realize that the iPhone is a variety of products: a music player, a camera, a video screen, a computer, an app store and more. Its components and features have revolutionized the electronics industry forever. When you combine the frequency at which you purchase a product, the lifespan or durability of that product, how often you upgrade it and the overall economic investment in that product, then the iPhone is indeed the most successful product ever.