Analyze This: 82+ Million iPhones to be Sold in 2012?


Yeah, so if the analysts are to be believed -- and Hollywood is wrong about the world ending first - - Apple might just sell 82+ million iPhones in 2012 (not by 2012, but 82+ million that year alone!) accounting for 5.7% of the market.

RBC guestimates that Apple will dominate the media-centric category of smartphones, much as RIM will dominate productivity, leaving Palm and perhaps others to fill out 2-3 additional categories like personal information management, cloud-focused, etc.

The growth in smartphones is expected to come not only at the expense of feature phones, but of PC-class devices as well (fulfilling the so-called Post-PC prophecy).

Personally, we're waiting for Apple to make an iPhone with the compute power of a MacBook Air that I can just dock into a MacBook shell when I need to do more serious work. Cloud storage, mobile compute power, dockable productivity. That's the future we'd like...

[via MacRumors]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Analyze This: 82+ Million iPhones to be Sold in 2012?


Well if the 30 pin dock could combine the computing power for an external processor, I would buy one right away.

The end of the world is in not until dec 12, 2012 so Apple will have pretty much the whole year to do this. No worries.

there was some kind of mockup I saw on engadget a long time ago that looked like a netbook but had the trackpad emptied out so you could insert the iPhone in to act as the trackpad and the CPU.
fucking. awesome.

Apple won't sell 82 million iPhones by 2012 i guarantee it i think they made a mistake on this article. They met apple will sell 82 million iPhone's and iPod toches combined by 2012 which they will cause they are at about 45 million right now officially. And that took 2 years

iPod sales are leveling off, and actually starting to decline. Apple knows this.
Current sales and sales over the last two years are a poor indication of future sales because this is such a new market segment.
I too have a little trouble believing the 82 million in ONE year. That would exceed one year sales records for any phone ever produced.
Only an end to exclusivity, and a radical reduction of subsidy costs would lead carriers to push the iPhone that hard.
Carriers are NOT getting rich selling the iPhone and its data plan. Its costing them more than the marginal profit of each additional unit sold.
So Apple prices will have to fall, and subsidies will have to drop, and RIM, Palm and Android would have to fall flat on their face for this level of sales to occur in one year.

not going to happen.. fads die.. not saying all the iphone is, is a fad, but in three years.. sales will be starting to taper off.. 82 million.. in one year?.. thats just stupid.

Fads to die, but so do iphone models.
So assume in 2010 we get a new wizbang dual processor model. Lots of people that grabbed the 3GS will be stuck in their contract and will not have the money yet to ditch it for the new phone. Recession still in effect, no compelling reason to buy, but many 3G users will upgrade, and virtually all first generation phones will be gone.
Then 2011 rolls by with nothing new.
2012 arrives along with LTE from multiple carriers, and by this time Apple has dropped exclusivity (Or the FCC has dropped it for them), so multiple carriers with LTE networks, and Apple comes out with iPhone LTE in 2012.
A perfect Storm.
Apple gets to replace virtually ALL units sold to-date, because the 2010 buyers will be coming off contract.
That's the rosiest picture I can paint, but I still don't think they get to 82 million.

By then Steve Jobs will be a bazillionaire and he will buy iPhones for underprivileged Third World nations! LOL!

I hear you man, like I mentioned.. I don't think the iphone is a fad per say.. but at some point.. it won't be the greatest thing ever.. I mean, the razor used to be the most amazing phone ever, and that didn't sell anywhere near 82 million in a year(obviously I'm not looking up numbers though). I think the iphone can be a strong force.. but to ever guess 82 mil in a year.. well.. thats just setting yourself up for failure(but then again, I realize that Apples goals probably aren't as lofty.. at least, I hope not) I will say though.. I'm so sure that it won't sell 82 million, that everyone that posts in this topic gets a free iphone on me in 2013 if the iphone sells 82 mil in 2012. :)(I'm aware that I may have a small chance of paying out big time.. but hey.. owell)

Do you think Apple can stay abreast of the cellphone market with innovation continuing to hold the attention and interest of the mass public for the next 2 or more years? I hope they can. I hope they'll be flexible and dynamic enough to do it.

Apple will have to run a lot harder to stay in the lead going forward in My opinion. I don't think the iPhone division is big enough to hold their lead. Just look how long it takes them to make relatively modest improvements in the phone Hardware and the iphone OS.
I think as time goes by the Android platform with 6 or 8 handset manufacturers has a much bigger brain pool, and more money, and more cell phone knowledge, and because its Open Source, thousands of sharp minds will be brought to bear, and bug fixes and enhancements will come much faster than Apple can muster in their closed shop paranoid mindset.
But that's just me. Others think Apple can't stumble and their lead is too great.

82 Million in one year! Assuming a majority of these will be on AT&T, what will that do to their excuse for a network??

Apple can acheive 5.7% of global sales in 2012, absolutely no doubt about it. I have no idea if they will, but it's not totally unrealistic!

People don't forget the vast majority of consumers are using dumbphones right now like really many consumers. I think there were 1 billion people using cellphones. iPhone has like 1% marketshare. But if the the smartphone marketshare grows so will the iPhones marketshare growth. 82 million is nothing compared to 1 billion.

82 million + iPhones in one year ?
This is only possible if secure Enterprise iPhones are sold with Verizon networks.