Asymco Predicts 2012 iDevice Sales of Nearly 280 Million Units
Market research firm Asymco estimates Apple could sell 280 million iDevices in 2012.
This estimate would more than double Apple’s actual iDevice sales for the entire fiscal 2011 year. Apple sold from October 2010 to September 2011 (not fiscal 2011)72 million iPhones, 32 million iPads, 42.6 million iPods for a grand total of 146.6 million, all of them running iOS except for the non-touch iPods.
Asymco Analyst Horace Dediu analyzed and combined three different measures to reach his prediction. Apparently, the pulling-numbers-out-of-a-hat technique is frowned upon in financial markets (sometimes).
Dediu first looked at the overall demand and market share in the mobile industry according to Ericsson’s Traffic and Market and Data report. According to the report Apple’s total iDevice install base will reach nearly 250 million by years end, giving them a 17% market share of mobile device installation. Dediu then assumed Apple’s market share would increase resulting in an estimate of 225 million iDevices sold next year.
Dediu then looked at Apple’s current supply, and their supply chain to determine the company’s ability to sustain production levels. Using this Dediu determined 260 million iDevices would be sold next year.
Dediu’s last measure looked at Apple’s retention or customer loyalty. With an extremely customer loyalty score between 80% and 90% Dediu estimated that if 90% of iDevice users upgraded next year an additional 90 million iDevices would be sold.
Dediu then used some mathematical magic to mix the ratios and calculations to come up with 280 million iDevices sold.
Forecasting Apple’s sales numbers is traditionally a game financial roulette with Apple being the house and analysts gambling away their credibility. The problem is that Apple divulges such little sales information throughout the year (sans quarterly earnings reports) analysts can’t bet on red or black to improve their odds. They’re stuck betting on 00.
It'll be interesting to see if the coming flood of analyst predictions prove more accurate than previous years.