June 24, 2024

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Apple’s AI strategy for iPhones could accelerate sales growth – IDC

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Worldwide smartphone shipments are forecast to grow 4.0% year over year in 2024 to 1.21 billion units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The growth in 2024 adds momentum to the overall recovery IDC expects throughout the forecast as consumer demand slowly rebounds from the dismal past few years. The recovery will continue in 2025 with 2.3% growth expected, followed by low single-digit growth for the rest of the forecast period, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate of 2.3%.

“While the overall market will see a relatively strong recovery this year with 4% growth coming from almost all regions, it is important to note that the majority of the growth will be driven by Android,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker Team. “The rapid growth of Android [4.8% projected]is coming off a tough two years, while iOS’s softer growth [0.7% projected] is due to a strong 2023 and increasing competition in China that is denting its growth potential. However, if Apple makes a strong move around its AI strategy for iPhones, demonstrating clear use cases, it could accelerate the growth for Apple and revamp demand for iPhones, especially in China. Regardless of how this plays out, the good news is the smartphone market is finally out of the woods with a clear path of recovery ahead.”

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MacDailyNews Take: The pressure is on Apple’s marketing team to position the company as an innovator in the space (“only Apple does so much on-device AI which enhances users’ privacy to ‘stunning’ effect,” etc.) that also makes “smart partnerships” with other AI companies (OpenAI, for example; even though it’s currently forced to partner if they want to offer any real GenAI features). Now, more than ever, finding themselves so far behind, Apple needs to sell, sell, sell!

Apple was caught flat-footed, due to a lack of vision on the part of leadership… So, the only solution is to partner with a [Google, OpenAI, Baidu, etc.] for the real GenAI stuff while pretending (marketing) really hard that some on-device AI Apple has whipped up in a few months is “insanely great Apple innovation” that’s at the heart of Apple’s 2024’s AI announcements when it’s really just an adjunct… Watch Apple make a big show of its on-device AI at WWDC and run many ads touting it from June onwards.

Apple hopes to buy time for the data center buildouts and investments that will be required for them to someday own their own AI technology and not have to license it from the likes of [Google, OpenAI, Baidu, etc.]. – MacDailyNews, April 1, 2024

See also: Apple is just weeks away from unveiling its big AI marketing effort – May 20, 2024

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