How long can an iPhone last? How often do people upgrade their iPads? Is it true that people treat Apple’s consumer devices as “frequently updated” or “renewed every year” as often seen on the web? We all know that the life span of a single device will naturally vary from person to person, but are the lifecycles of the Apple devices we perceive from the perimeter channels as their true lifespan?
Although Apple officials have never directly responded to this question, one of the official documents, “More Answers to Apple and Environmental Responsibilities,” states explicitly: “… We estimate the useful life of the first user, the assumptions 4 years for macOS and tvOS devices and 3 years for iOS and watchOS devices … ”
In other words, from Apple’s own estimated model point of view, the product life cycle this figure conservatively estimated at 3-4 years. But how did this figure come out, whether it followed a set of existing logic, probably only Apple himself knew.
Now every three Apple devices, two are still in use
Today, Horace Dediu, Founder and Independent Analyst from Asymco, gives us a more detailed and “plausible” solution based on current The number of active devices and accumulations of Apple devices Total sales, not only estimated what he considered more convincing user satisfaction, but also ultimately estimated the actual average lifespan of Apple devices in the user community.
In the past on the iPhone word of mouth coverage, often heard is the “customer satisfaction” or “loyalty” and other relatively vague indicators, the favorable rate of 98% of the figures are not new, but the lack of visual presentation. Horace Dediu also believes that the “customer satisfaction” number is difficult to convince. Most of the respondents think that they are often “good things,” especially when the interviewee is in a state of uncertainty. This sense of self-suggestion Particularly strong – for example, we will be out of trouble for the psychological to Taobao some of the products, drip drivers and takeaway brother readily hit a five-star praise, even if the products and services are not entirely satisfactory.
Good products speak for themselves, the value of good products not only reflected in the frequency of daily use, but also will be reflected in the duration of use, which is “the number of active devices,” the more valuable reason. If “cumulative sales” represent a company’s existing performance, then “active equipment” is more likely to reflect its development prospects.
Earlier this year in early February, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed in the earnings conference: January 2018 Apple’s active device volume reached 1.3 billion, which is also after January 2016, Apple’s second public its own active equipment number.
Horace Dediu draws a chart based on available data, with the top curve showing the total amount of equipment sold by Apple since the second quarter of 2007, as shown by Apple’s cumulative total equipment sales as of the fourth quarter of 2017 The amount has reached 2.05 billion units. At the same time, Horace fits it to logic functions based on the number of active devices that have been disclosed at several time points, trying to plot the S-curve below to represent the amount of active devices.
As for the origin of this curve, I asked Dr. Milkshake, a Ph.D. in physics (there is a sense of killing chickens with a chopper …). The following is a more general explanation.
Logic functions were initially used as S-curves to model population growth and were later widely used for their solid theoretical foundations in social behavior. Horace Dediu chose this calculation method, also think that the logic function can well represent the growing trend of the number of active devices in Apple over the years (that is, exponential growth in the early, after reaching a certain value tends to ease), and will know a few The number of active devices in a time node is encased in this function.
He gives the formula in the original text: S ÷ (1 + EXP (1 × (to) ÷ g))
After simple processing, it is this:
Correspondingly, we can see that S in the Horace formula is L in the corresponding logical function model, which represents the saturation value of the active devices in the market. Horace predicts saturation to reach 1.8 billion by 2022;
1 / g, which corresponds to k in the logical function model, derives the slope by derivation and obtains the growth factor g = 8;
O That is, corresponding to x0 in the logical function model, the corresponding time value when S takes the middle point (900 million), that is, o = 35.
Which draws the lower curve in the figure above.
After building this function model, Horace calculates the ratio of active devices to cumulative sales devices. By the fourth quarter of 2017, that figure was around 64%, meaning that two-thirds of Apple devices are still in use today, and I find that number coincides exactly with one of the indicators released by Newzoo last year.
From Newzoo statistics last year, by the end of April 2017, 728 million of the 1.1 billion iPhone sold were still in use, at a rate of 63%. But Horace Dediu has a much broader range of data, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, and does not refer to a specific product category.
Horace Dediu’s model visually shows the number of products sold and the number of products in service compared to other data that are not clear about statistics, so that the ratio between the number of active devices and the devices sold can be derived, in a sense It can be seen that consumers in the past buying behavior of Apple’s future development prospects.
If you keep track of this ratio, you may be able to get a more reliable than the user satisfaction index.
“It’s based on user interaction with the product, not the user-fiery three-minute heat.”
In the eyes of analysts, this data is more convincing than any satisfaction survey.
Maybe your iPhone has quietly accompanied you for more than four years
Based on the two curves in the figure above, Horace Dediu further estimates that the actual average lifespan of Apple devices in the user community is about 17 quarters. The figure below shows this visually after the addition of guides on the original graph in conclusion.
The difference between the total installed capacity and the number of active devices sold can be regarded as the number of devices that have been “retired”. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the difference is 750 million units, which is exactly the third quarter of 2013 Of the total amount of equipment sold.
We can easily and crudely understand that all the equipment sold before the third quarter of 2013 will have their historic mission completed in the fourth quarter of 2017. 4 years and 3 months ago, it happened to be the release date of the oldest device supported by iOS system, such as iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2, all of which were launched in 2013 and are the earliest iOS devices supported by iOS 11 .
So perhaps our Apple device does not change one year or two as we did, and instead continues to shine and heat up somewhere in the world beyond the predictions given in official documents cycle.
Product life is still an issue worth exploring, especially the “active equipment volume,” Horace Dediu said it is a breakthrough to quantify Apple’s value, based on its derived “average life of the device,” allows us Better predict the future development of Apple.
To the user’s selfishness, naturally, do not want your device is prematurely eliminated. With the price of the iPhone X breaking through the million mark, purely screen changes have long failed to attract practical user groups, especially for those old iPhones that have just experienced “battery incidents” and “durable” does not seem to work either Exactly the same as “excellent”, more difficult to talk about “I am satisfied with it.” Unless it is a physical damage caused by external factors, we will be half joking half serious that his cell phone can “fight another year.”
In such a trend, a cellphone or computer can spend more time in one’s hands, or it can be sold to a second or third user after several hands-offs. If you just want to make a phone call, talk about WeChat, about a king of glory, two or three years ago, the flagship machine can still be competent, the budget of the lower population can also be turned over from the official, free fish trading and even the rental business to find the product Good color of medieval products.
But this is clearly not a business company would like to see the replacement of the old user’s desire to lead to low sales is too weak, the cost of the huge maintenance of the old equipment routine maintenance is also a thankless thing, this point in the Android phone On the performance will be more obvious. Even if it is also fighting the iPhone 5s, many hardware and software level of the lack of only allow it to run a “flawed version of iOS 11, and freshly baked yet full of taste means iPhone X, will follow the” 4 Year and three months “this life cycle?
Perhaps, only when we re-phone as a purely communication tool, it will no longer tangle the life of this matter.