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Analyst: iOS users worth $150 per year, Mac users $250

updated 10:30 pm EDT, Thu June 30, 2011

Recurring average spent on hardware

Asymco's Horace Dediu has put together a combination of published numbers and confident assumptions about hardware replacement cycles -- not app or third-party accessory sales -- to work out that Mac users are worth about $250 per year on average to Apple, while iOS users -- who outnumber Mac users roughly four to one and pay Apple far less for their equipment -- are worth around $150 per year, every year.

Dediu comes to his conclusions based on the known quantities of active Mac users and and active iOS users, which number 54 million and 180 million respectively. Although both Mac sales and iOS sales are accelerating, he says it took Apple five and half years to sell 54 million new Macs, establishing an "average life cycle" for the machines of 5.5 years, and a total revenue over that period of $73.8 billion, leading to an average of $250 per Mac owner.

Dediu assumes that iOS devices are replaced about every 3.5 years (200 million devices sold to 180 million owners over that time period), meaning that thanks to their larger numbers and shorter "cycle" each iOS owner is worth an average of $150 per owner. If one assumes the customers are generally satisfied, he says, they will spend this average amount on hardware every year indefinitely, and it can be assumed that each new user will do the same.

This allows Dediu to project out how much each of the two platforms will add to revenues as each platform expands. For example, when Mac growth gets to the point where there are 100 million users, one can assume that the additional users will add $25 billion per year to the company's coffers. Likewise, a growth to 500 million iOS users would generate $74 billion each year in additional revenue. Neither hypothesis is likely to happen in the short-term, but gives investors a reasonable footing for assumptions about Apple's future, and this is before any new products that might attract further new customers are added to the mix.

Dediu says that the additional growth, if achieved, would give Apple a potential recurring income of $95 billion per year based on just the existing product lines. Currently, he says, that figure is about $40 billion per year. [via Asymco]

by MacNN Staff





  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Anecdotal Evidence.

    With a 6-year hiatus between purchasing, I come in around $375 as a Mac user. Just doing my part here.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Those are screwy numbers. It's pretty damn rare to find anyone with an iPhone 3G that didn't get it after it had dropped to 100 bucks, and it's nearly impossible to find an iPhone 2G user out there. Most cellphone contracts for smartphones in the US are 2 years, and even in Canada where they're three years you can still do an upgrade after 2 years, and I know both ATT and Rogers as well as I'm sure other carriers, have allowed users to upgrade even after the first year!

    As for Macs being upgraded on average every 5.5 years that's also pretty bunk. That mac may last 5 years or more, heck I still occasionally use my 12 inch PowerBook from years ago, but the longest I've kept a Mac as my primary machine has been 4.5 years, and in that time nearly every Mac user I knew had gotten a new one since that point. They may last a long time, but Mac users often still want to upgrade even when their old machine is satisfactory.

    I'd say your average iPhone is going to last it's original user approximately 1.8 years, and your average Mac probably 3.5 or less.

  1. facebook_Hero

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011



    I think ur right. We have imacs 8,1 and they won't go another 2.5 years! Maybe another 12 months, tops.

  1. thewebdrives


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple @ Nortel patents

    A consortium including Apple Inc, EMC Corp, Ericsson and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion bought bankrupt telecommunications gear maker Nortel Networks Corp's remaining patent portfolio for $4.5 billion, in an auction that began early this week.

  1. Jonaziz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Count vs. Value

    I don't know why this analyst is bothering with this comparison. You're not going to get as many Mac sales as you get iOS sales. Since the ratio is 4:1 for iOS:Mac sales, it's clear where the value is for Apple.

  1. thewebdrives


    Joined: Dec 1969


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