The lack of a rival to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldables won’t stop the iPhone 13 being this year’s top selling flagship smartphone, according to industry experts.
IDC Senior research manager Marta Pinto told Trusted Reviews all the data suggests Apple will retain its leading position in the flagship, $1000/£1000-plus segment of the market immediately after the iPhone 13’s launch last night.
“With a shorter Android proposition in the premium segment, Apple keeps a dominant position above the USD $1000 price threshold. Given Samsung’s latest bet on launching foldables, which are still a niche, there is no direct threat to Apple’s current position and therefore iPhones continue to be driving the volumes in this price point,without the need to create great marketing campaigns,” she said.
She added this largely due to Apple’s ongoing disinterest targeting Android in its strongest segment of the market, affordable phones.
“Apple’s strategy is clearly not to compete on price: it is an aspirational brand that wants to keep its brand equity and does not have the need to address all price segments. Focused on prices from high end and above (most premium segments), the brand managed to be isolated from the Android vendors that are fighting for lower prices (and also likely lower margins…) and higher volumes,” she said.
Pinto’s comments match Trusted Reviews’ findings. Over the last half decade, while Apple iPhones have dominated our best phones guide, there have been next to no products that match our criteria to be considered as entries in our best cheap phones guide.
Android’s focus on volume is a key reason it remains the most popular operating system, despite Apple dominating the premium market, according to IDC’s latest forecasts which peg it as controlling 83.8% of the overall market.
CCS Insight, Chief Analyst, Ben Wood mirrored Pinto’s forecast, suggesting Apple has made suitable improvements to the iPhone for it to keep pace, and likely beat, its key Android rivals this year.
“Camera performance has become the main battleground in premium smartphones and it’s no surprise Apple has upped its game, adding 3x optical zoom, macro photography and video features such as Cinematic Mode to the top-end iPhones. Although many of these technologies exist on rival smartphones, Apple has done more than enough to maintain the perception that the iPhone offers one of the best camera experiences available,” he said.
“It looks like Apple has made good progress on battery life, something that is hugely important to consumers spending more and more time glued to their phones. For people upgrading from much older iPhones, the improvement will be dramatic.”
The iPhone 13 line of phones launched last night during Apple’s September 2021 digital live stream. The firm also unveiled a new iPad 9, iPad Mini 6 and Apple Watch 7.
Despite the analysts’ positive comments the phone is a minor update on the iPhone 12-line, with the many of the changes, outside of the use of the A15 Bionic in each, applying to the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. The Pros are the only new iPhones to feature key upgrades, like a variable refresh rate ProMotion screen. You can see a detailed guide comparing the old and new phones using the links below.
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