Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), has released its analysis of the results from its research on Apple for the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2016. The research group found that the iPhone U.S. installed base reached 132 million units as of the end of 2016.
Within the installed base, the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus comprise 25 million units, or 19% of the total. The two year-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus comprise 51 million units, or 38% of the total installed base.
“iPhone 7 and 7 Plus penetrated the U.S. market slightly stronger, at 19% of the installed base, than the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus did a year ago, but not nearly at the level the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus did two years ago,” says Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder. “At this time last year, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus accounted for about 17% of the US installed based of iPhones, compared to an incredible 30% for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in December 2014.”
iPhone Plus models (the 6 Plus, 6S Plus, and 7 Plus) account for 35% of the installed base as of Dec. 31, 2016, compared to 25% as of Dec. 31, 2015.
“Apple continues to increase its sales of larger format phones,” says Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP. “It appears to have overcome initial doubts about their appeal. And given their premium prices and a trend toward purchasing greater storage capacity among all iPhone buyers, this added meaningfully to revenues and gross margin.”
The US installed base now consists almost entirely of phones that Apple has introduced since late 2014, says Lowitz. With the lenthening ownership cycle, diminishing number of first-time buyers, and increased Android and IOS loyalty, “Apple’s short-term fortunes will depend on how it can persuade this huge cohort of existing iPhone owners to upgrade to the next new models,” he adds.
CIRP bases its findings on its survey of 500 US Apple customers, surveyed from Dec. 31, 2016-Jan. 12, 2017 that purchased an iPhone, iPad, or Mac in the US in October-December 2016 period.