Apple's best-ever iPhones could be behind a slowdown in new device activations

Apple has experienced a steep decline in its share of the number of new smartphones that are being activated across the United States.

1 minute & 38 seconds read time

There once was a time when the iPhone could do no wrong and Apple couldn't make them quickly enough to keep up with demand, but those times are now few and far between. According to a new report by the researchers at CIRP, Apple's share of the US smartphone activations has taken a tumble despite the fact that the report believes that Apple's installed user base is still higher.

The number of smartphone activations for Apple topped out at 40% in the first and second quarter of 2023, the report notes, But Apple experienced a new smartphone activation decline to 33%, a full third of all smartphone activations, in the United States during the first quarter of 2024. You don't have to be too great at maths to know that the figure means that two-thirds of all smartphone devices are not iPhones - and that means that they're all running Android.

Apple's best-ever iPhones could be behind a slowdown in new device activations 02

The reason for that isn't always easy to come up with, but CIRP believes that Apple may be a victim of its own success. The latest iPhones are so good and they last for so long that people simply don't see the need to update so often.

What's more, iPhones haven't really changed all that much in recent years with new features having so far been minimal. That hasn't necessarily been the case in the Android world, which might explain why those devices have been refreshed more regularly by users. However, Apple will hope that the expected September launch of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro devices will change that somewhat.

As for those new iPhones, Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max during an event in September, likely alongside the unconfirmed Apple Watch X and a refreshed Apple Watch Ultra. If the company sticks to its usual patterns we can expect all of these devices to be announced at an event in the first couple of weeks of September before going up for preorder the following Friday. From there, the new iPhones and Apple Watches will then likely go on sale to the public and be delivered to those who preordered a week later.

Long before that, Apple is expected to announce new OLED iPad Pro and refreshed iPad Air tablets in May. The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air might be the biggest addition here, but Apple is yet to confirmed its existance.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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