Apple Expected to Ship 166 Million iPhones in 2015

Analysts from IDC have updated their smartphone shipment forecast and now believe that 472 million smartphones will ship in 2011 and 982 million in 2015. In 2015, 43.8% of all smartphones are expected to be Android devices, translating to 1.1 million activated devices every day, up from about 300,000 today.

IDC repeats its conviction that Windows Phone 7 will be capturing the No. 2 spot by 2016 and hold about 20.3% of the market. This forecast rests on the hope that Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) will drive Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) operating system much deeper into the market. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iOS follows with a share of 16.9% in 2015, which means that Apple could be selling about 166 million iPhones that year. If Apple can maintain its profit margin, the device could turn into a $40 billion business for Apple.

BlackBerry takes the No. 4 spot in the ranking with a 13.4% share. There is no mention of Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ  ) WebOS, which will not play any significant role in 2011 or in 2015, according to IDC.

However, the IDC estimates could be questioned from various angles. The overall growth forecast is based on falling data-plan prices, which isn't really happening today. Flat rates are being canceled, and we are seeing both AT&T (NYSE: T  ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) increasing the prices of data access. We have no idea yet how the Windows Phone 7 transition at Nokia will work and how the market will accept those devices.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2011, at 5:35 PM, Bunnyturd wrote:

    IDC's track record is horrible. They can't predict anything more than 12 months way. Their only interest is to come up with numbers that help them sell their subscription.

    iPhone unit shipment has been growing at 80% year over year since introduction. Check the numbers if you don't believe me.

    Apple shipped 18.65 million iPhone in the March quarter. It will ship over 80 million this calendar year.

    So IDC expect it to grow a total of 100% between now and 2015 even though it has been growing at 80% in a year since 2007? I don't buy that.

    Furthermore, average unit price per iPhone has been consistently at $625. If Apple only sells 166 million phones as IDC claims in 2015 and maintains price as is their assumption then the total revenue from iPhone would be $104 billion not $40 billion. In fact, Apple's annual revenue from iPhone is already close to $40 billion a year.

    Again, only "analysts" that can't get a real job on WallStreet work for IDC.

    Between now and 2015, I assure you Apple will invade the low end phone market like it did with iPod. Average unit price will come down but unit shipment will soar.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2011, at 10:23 PM, steveonyx wrote:

    I couldn't tell you whether or not IDC knows what they are talking about with their iPhone predictions, but I can tell you that the recent weakness in the Apple stock represents a great time to go in and buy some call options with a time horizon of September or later.

    With the July earnings release, the analysts will once again raise their estimates and this weakness will be long forgotten. I made some purchases last week and I'll be back for more in the coming week.

    See my Apple trade history at: http://onyxinvesting.com/trade-history/big-money-on-apple/

  • Report this Comment On June 12, 2011, at 12:08 AM, ConstableOdo wrote:

    I just wonder why they're projecting Windows Phone to have such high growth although it hardly has anything currently. I guess they're counting on WP7 taking over on all Nokia smartphones and the user base. However, that Nokia user base seems to be disappearing rather quickly. Anyway, no analyst should be able to accurately project that far in advance in a rapidly changing smartphone market. Six months is about as far as one should be able to get a close projection. You'd figure that even one special model smartphone could make a big difference for helping a company's success.

  • Report this Comment On June 12, 2011, at 10:35 AM, Appleto1000 wrote:

    They will ship between 85-90 million IPhones in their fiscal 2011 which ends in Sept. They will introduce IPhone 5 which will have 4g and everybody will race out to get a refresh + they will draw in even more people still using an old style 3G handset. Look for 140 million IPhones to sell in fiscal 2012. Which would represent another year of 70% growth. By 2015 I would expect apple to have 20% market share of the 1.7 bIllion handsets sold globally. So they will be selling 300 million handsets annually. Even if the avg unit price drops to $400 from it's current $625 level you are still looking at IPhone generating $120 billion in annual revenues. Then you throw in the rest of Apples other business units and the company will easily be doing $200 billion in annual sales by 2015 with EPS in the $70 range. Even with a 12 PE the stock will be $850 by 2015.

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