Regions

Citi analysts say Apple CEO Tim Cook is wrong

July 26
6:00 AM 2013

On Thursday, analysts at Citi released a report regarding the saturation in the smartphone market. Their research into the future mobile trends delivered a depressing analysis of smartphone uptake in the emerging markets.

"Device exhaustion suggests that demand growth for high-end smartphones is noticeably decelerating," Citi analysts said. They contended that the trend "is already evident in developed markets, but it stands to reason that developing markets will follow suit."

When Apple released its better-than-anticipated iPhone sales, its CEO Tim Cook argued that the smartphone market is not at its peak. However, the analysts estimated that 75% to 80% of the total population already owned smartphones. Given that they assumed an 85% target penetration rate, the saturation in the market would still be hit in 2015.

Making new devices would require innovation. The analysts doubt if corporations like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. were up to the challenge since they only add little features onto their current mobiles. "The marginal utility of the new features in smartphones is near zero," they noted.

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