How Hot Is the iPhone Globally?

26 Comments

ref_iphone3g_pair I have often wondered if Apple’s iPhone is primarily a U.S. phenomenon or if it’s having an impact overseas, too. Earlier this morning, when Google (s GOOG) released its Zeitgest, I conducted an unscientific comparison, though it doesn’t take into account actual sales of the devices.

My logic (to me at least) was — since search is about intent to acquire information, it is a good enough (if somewhat crude) indicator of what a large mass of users are thinking. Google’s Zeitgest is calculated by taking the most popular searches conducted for 11 months of 2008 and ranking them based on how much their frequency increased compared to 2007. 

  • In the U.S., Apple’s iPhone (s AAPL) was at the No. 4 spot. 
  • In the UK, the iPhone was at the No. 3 spot. 
  • In Australia, the iPhone was ranked No. 1, much like the Netherlands. 
  • In Czech Republic, it was ranked No. 2. 
  • In Singapore it was No. 4.

At a global level, it didn’t crack the top 10, just like in large countries such as Brazil, India, Argentina, and substantial parts of Europe (Germany, France, Italy) and Eastern Europe. These indicators dovetail with the actual sales of the iPhone, and if recent numbers are to be believed, the majority of the sales are still in the U.S. anyway. 

To be fair, the iPhone 3G has been available around the world for only a few months, so perhaps we will see a bigger impact next year.

26 Comments

gp

new range of touch screen by nokia …like nokia tube, 5800 or n97 with free one year music subscription and map 2.0 turn by turn GPS navigation with 8 gb memory and with many other seemingly normal features (like voice commands , stylus , video recording , sms forwarding , application switching , decent camera , copy paste, j2me and flash support ) which apple never cared to provide nor I cant wait for apple to provide , you can get it unlocked @ 450 $ in india. .Already reports coming in from russia are saying 5800 sales have gone beyond expectation , N97 will be different story (5 ,mega pixel camera , QUERTY keyboard , 32 gb storage , maps 2.0 , full dvd quality recording ) all in all probably will bust iphone down to dust . Its no secret why apple was never popular in india , its not even minority its insignificant minority in india , you will find more users with linux here that apple mac os x , and iphone nobody is buying its total flop here , probably those who have get they from grey market or from US .if 1/3 of human population and 2nd largest mobile user base ( http://asia.cnet.com/blogs/technologywalla/post.htm?id=63002913 )in world do want to use /not interested in your product than how hot it is ?

BBusyB

Part of the problem worldwide has been the until recently, the lack of availability of Unlocked models.

as when your going to pay $600-800 for a phone, you want to able to use it on any network.

This is the especially in markets lie India, etc where the people who do have the cash to buy it also travel, and want the ability and flexibility to swap out SIM’s as and when needed.

fosi

In Brazil, Claro came up in 4th place. Claro is the America Movil’s wireless brand. The iPhone is among Claro’s handset lineup.

Dimitrios Matsoulis

Despite all the advertising of Vodafone in Greece the iPhone had very little impact on the market here. Maybe because Apple has so tiny penetration and the name does not evoke the following we see in other countries. I have to say that SMS has been the killer application for young people for years now and smartphones have not come up with a similarly enticing application apart from the usual photo, video and music capabilities that so many mobiles phones now have.

Sahil S

Honestly, there’s a significant difference between the price people all over the world pay for the iPhone.
In places like US, as a customer it makes sense to buy the phone at 200$ (best plan) and then the service provider earn the rest of their revenue through rentals and plans for a minimum of 2 years. In places like India, mobile service providers essentially survive and later thrive on the classes model. Revenues are projected/generated through the large number of customer base being added every single month. At one point, in India we had about 6/7 odd million subscribers joining in each month.
The important thing to note here is, thanks to a huge customer base, call/messaging rates are not sky high in India. You could possibly make a call to your friend in peak hours for as less as 10 paise (100 paise = 1 INR).

I feel where Apple failed to make a killing here is price the iphone at around Rs. 30,000 (= approx 700USD). I suppose this price is probably one of the highest prices anyone in the world would pay for the iphone. If somehow they manage to bring this steep price to a more appealing figure, their India sales figures will surpass everybody else in no time.

Subsidiespons

It’s no wonder that in countries like the netherlands it’s the fastest rising this year because it wasn’t even available there in 2007. Lack of certain features like dvb-h doesn’t help for it’s populairity either. The fact that it isn’t in the 2008 overall list says more than enough. The hype is already over.

Lehcar

As time goes on and the price goes down, I have been tempted to get one myself.

Peter Secor

Some other data that might support the US-centric use of the iPhone is in the distribution of iPhone app sales. For example, one of our apps has consistently averaged about 40% of its downloads from the US. The second on the list is Japan with about 10%.

iphonerulez

There are countries where simplicity, elegance and ease of use doesn’t count for much. Places such as Japan and Korea. They want certain features that the iPhone can’t deliver. It’s as simple as that. Due to the iPhones intended simplicity it lacks common features that comes standard on even cheap handsets. Little kids in Korea and Japan use complicated UI handsets and it doesn’t bother them at all as long as they can do the few things they want to do such as send pictures instantly or record videos to send to friends instantly. Whether Americans or Apple consider these features useful or not is not the point. Asians like this sort of stuff and the iPhone doesn’t have any of it. Imagine a high-end handset that doesn’t even record video although the hardware is there. That’s a bad joke in any country.

The iPhone is a fine device, no doubt, but it has it’s limitations. It’s using an OS that is still being developed and is only up to 80% of it’s true potential. Snow Leopard Mobile should change that when it hits the iPhone.

Lamourb

Lillie08, most likely you don’t own or never use an iPhone. Because I don’t think you can name one phone that can do everything the iPhone can do, with the same simplicity, elegance and ease of use.

lillie08

come on..
we get it for the brand not for the features ..
they are TONS of phones that actualy cando the same thing as the i phone. for less money…

JD

In India, its just a fashion statement….too expensive to have without a proper 3G speed to use.

Gadget Sleuth

From what i’ve heard, most smaller countries think of the iPhone as a toy, not a serious gadget for productivity, and many consider it too expensive too (re: comment above). Probably 60% of the sales are still in the US, and i’m not sure that’ll change too much, even next year.

noobenforcer

Now that O2 here in the UK announced the iPhone is Pay as you go, I may be tempted now. I was not prepared before to pay for a contract with O2 for 18months.

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