What happens when you release one phone a year with a closed operating system? If you’re Apple, you’re incredibly successful and, as analyst ABI Research suggests, you’ll hit peak demand this year. This doubles what Pacific Crest said about Apple: it’s hitting market saturation. ABI claims that Apple will peak at 22% worldwide marketshare and then stabilize. iPhone numbers will still increase on a yearly basis, but when Tim Cook has to face investors, they’ll already know what he’s going to say, which is going to be very scary for Apple.
So what does this mean if you’re an iPhone owner? Well, Apple’s definitely not going away any time soon. Apps will still be plentiful because Apple controls the App Store in such a way that developers make far more money on iOS than they do with Android. Unfortunately, that’s only going to keep paying off for a while as Android’s market continues to expand, especially in developing markets. It doesn’t even matter so much that Android is fragmented because Google has worked so hard since the debut Ice Cream Sandwich (and Larry Page assuming the CEO-ship of the company) to unify their offerings. No, I doubt any of their offerings will be as spit-shiny as any iPhone unless Samsung decides to step up into the glass/aluminum game, but they won’t shed a tear as the iPhone empire reaches its final boundaries, just like the Apple computer did decades earlier.