Analyst says decline in iPhone sales this quarter could be bigger than expected

Analyst says decline in iPhone sales this quarter could be bigger than expected
This quarter, for the first time in the history of the Apple iPhone, Apple expects to report a year-over-year decline in sales. Even Tim Cook reached that conclusion. "We do think iPhone units will decline in the quarter," said the CEO. "We don’t think that they will decline to the levels you’ll talk about." Apple iPhone sales narrowly showed some growth during the holiday quarter, which was quite remarkable considering that it had sold a record 74.5 million units in the 2014 period.

Amazingly, Apple surpassed that total in 2015 by selling a record 74.8 million iPhones. But unless Apple has a spectacular three month period from January through March, the device will indeed suffer its first decline in sales year-over-year. Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves recently cut his estimate on Apple's earnings for the quarter as he expects iPhone sales from January through March to register at the low-end of Apple's range.

This year-over-year decline in iPhone sales should be short-lived. Next quarter, we could see some contribution from the 4-inch Apple iPhone SE. The following quarter after that, the new design of the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus should lead to stronger sales year-over-year. There is a good chance that the current quarter is an outlier when it comes to year-over-year iPhone sales.

Apple does have a large number of potential buyers that can make a difference in any given quarter. 60% of Apple iPhone owners who were sporting an iPhone at the time the Apple iPhone 6 was released, have not yet updated to a device with a larger screen. And if they don't want an iPhone with a larger screen, perhaps they want a more powerful 4-inch model like the upcoming iPhone SE. Either way, it does add up to a large number of potential iPhone buyers on the sidelines, waiting to make a purchase.

source: WSJ



7. AlikMalix unregistered

I've been waiting for this - Apple needs a little kick in the rear.

14. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Me too, I really hope this will be worse year for them, they just have to have that impulse to finally make something new and good

27. MSi_GS70 unregistered

And cheap, low price

23. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

I think they need a bang in the rear

24. Skimshaddy

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

You just make Mr. Cook happy .

25. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

you sound so gay, lol.

12. Unordinary unregistered

We've been hearing this on PA ever since the early days of the red downvote button.

53. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Hearing it from forum folks or analysts. There is a difference. Even tho some analyst get things amazingly wrong...there is still a difference. Like in the early days article writers, reviewers would use the term 'iPhone killer'. Very few if any OEM's, company's, CEO's, etc actually said that. Then that trickled down to forum folks. Then one day it became known that all companies competing with the iPhone always had the next 'iPhone killer" ready to launch and some Apple, iPhone fans were tired of hearing that term or saying it will never happen, trolling articles, etc. This is the reason I wrote that first sentence.

16. Phonehex

Posts: 763; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

The main reason for the decline is that a majority of users aren't upgrading to the 6S as it really doesn't give them anything new in comparison to the 6. The 6S is the most boring "S" upgrade. The main issue is that the 6 is already very good. Nothing new for a general user in the "S" variant.

21. HonestRealist

Posts: 196; Member since: Jan 25, 2016

I have the 6s and your right, aside from 3d touch (which I have grown to love) there is not much point in upgrading. Personally I have been upgrading annually since the 4s BUT not everyone is like me and there are obviously those who are waiting on the 7.

28. MSi_GS70 unregistered

That's why there are OPs 2year contract.. Ppl should upgrade like that.. And I would pick only S's

29. HonestRealist

Posts: 196; Member since: Jan 25, 2016

Technically speaking a iPhone is good for 4-5 years before the NEED to be replaced, but to say that's how people "should" do it is short sighted, naive and deeply subjective. Not everyone is in your situation or mindset. PS Never tell anyone how they "should" do something, simply because that's what you believe.

33. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

"iPhone is good for 4-5 years" Not really: Planned obsolescence in action

34. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Wow, you have to give them credit for their tactics here. Literally chip away at the users sanity through a few milliseconds here and there until they break and buy a new one. I guess they learned that the hard way when they completely crippled the iPhone 3g with the 3.0 update.

35. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Although I'm completely aware of what Apple is doing please compare 5 year old PC with newest configurations. And I still am using 4S with 6.1.3 and believe me, I have no reason to upgrade, it runs as 2 years old Android flagships = good enough

40. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

One phone is good for forever to be honest, as long as it is supported by your carriers network. New phones really offer nothign new. Just faster CPU/GPU/MODEM and slightly better cameras. However for things like web browsing, taking photos and reading things like news articles, emails, tweets, Facebook or similar. A new phone really doesn't offer anything new to the experience as a whole. Some people just like buying new phones. I'm one of them. The fact is, today's PC's and phones have all reached the top end of what they will ever really offer. Today's iPhone doesn't do anything you can do on an older model. Which is why many still have their older model. It doesn't mean they don't want a bigger iPhone, it just means the new phone doesn't offer a real benefit. To be honest, today's Galaxy S, is not all that much better than any S model staring with the S4. What has happened is the OS is taking on more tasks, like heavier security code, heavier code for application and API support and similar. All that code needs a bit more power to push it. Which we have seen with iOS, the code isn't as lean as one claim it is. Considering the Note 5 does way more and is just as fast as an iPhone which does far less, shows you that IOS is very heavy with code and it runs terrible as we have seen with iOS 7, 8 and 9. Android also suffers this too, but different since it is a VM. For me, if I had the iPhone 5S, I woudlnt have bought either of the 4 iPhone 6 models because I consider them to be ugly compared to the 5S and the 6's other than size doesn't offer any capabilities the 5S can't do already. They all have the same fingerprint reader, basically have the same tweaked camera same old boring UI and more. They are all the same phone, with slightly upgraded internals. That is will you're gettign with pretty much any OEM. But at least others change the look of the device more than Apple does. I upgraded from the Note 4 to the Note 5, simply because I preferred the Note 5 design better and I wanted the faster hardware and newer TouchWiz But overall, the Note 5 offers no major benefit over the Note 4 based on my usage. But I don't like keeping a phone more than 6 mons to a year at most.

46. AlikMalix unregistered

I love the iPhone 5s design, I don't like the 6/6s design - but it's so much more nicer to hold than Samsung edge which is a better looking design, but feels too light, too cheap when held (I know it's not cheap - just feels too plasticky)). But I agree 6/6s is not a good looking phone. I did upgrade though, not for the size (after 6/6+ ran for a year with no 4" version in sight - I gave in), but I upgraded for Apple Pay. And I thought I wouldn't care for forcetouch but I would not own a phone without it now. All the games run well on my 5s, but they load and feel better on 6s. The camera improvements are always welcome, and battery is now lasting a day and thru the next morning on average. You're right though, devices aren't bringing anything groundbreaking other than performance that's really kicking ass lately. My wants from my future dream device is REAL wireless charging, utilitarian design with slim bezels (looking at you Johnny Ive), and camera that para with a real DSLR quality consistently (including the good old FP, FT, mobile pay, consistent performance, etc.)

50. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

100% agree. Other than changing the look, theer isnt much you can add to a phone. Its like cars now. Cosmetic changes and improvements under the hood. Al the improvemenst we really wont see as they are basically in the code. Just think dude, for years people held on the flip phones and dumb-phones. They got rid of them because the carriers force them away from them because those phones were only 2G/3G and carriers want to be 4G or higher. Switching to such a device means you need a phone that is less "dumb" or more "smart". Technology as we see with PC's hasn't really changed. Just improvements. After all, today's Intel Core chips are just Pentiums shoved onto the same die made faster and more efficient. These OEm's are basically making billion of giving us the same stuff year after year. I am not saying there haven't been any significant changes to anyone phone. I am only saying for the majority not into fancy features, that things like SMS, Tweets, Facebook, email and similar simply have not changed. Today's iPhone yes is considerably faster than one from 4 years ago, but for some one doing the above; they wont really notice any speed difference and thus see no reason to upgrade. For me I simply get bored fast and I am ready for a new phone in just 3 months ans last year I did upgrade to a new phone every 3 months almost. But for me today's smartphone isnt as much fun as they were back in 2007-20010. The nostaligia has worn off because nonthing has come that I am actually looking forward too. What's next? 4K displays, dual octacore CPU's more RAM, 40MP cameras and LTE5.. But the phones will be doing pretty much all the same tasks. I may actually try to hold on to a phone 24 months, because buying a new phone every year, hasn't giving me anything worth bragging about other than to say I have the latest so-called greatest toy that si basically equally as great as the last model.

54. james2841

Posts: 167; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

the only good reason to upgrade:

55. canner

Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

thats a ton of features you want cramed into a tiny phone.

36. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

I have the 6 Plus and asked a coworker with the 6S Plus about upgrading... he said dont do it.

47. AlikMalix unregistered

I only upgrade to the "s" models every two years - I think that's the perfect upgrade cycle. Changing a phone every year still makes no sense to me.

51. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree. We don't need a new phone every year. Every other year is better.


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

iphones are slowly dying! I predicted by 2020 iphones will be almost gone!

31. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

You are really very smart.

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The iPhone will always be around but it isn't goign to have the same weight on the market. I see the iPhone falling to roughly 20M sales per year, with people hold on to their models longer due to no significant changes.

52. AlikMalix unregistered

... due to faster models that last longer and better running hardware. (There I fixed that for you)

41. AlikMalix unregistered

Very smart post, well articulated and then reasons are undeniable. +1

30. twens

Posts: 1175; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Just being honest. What ever phone Apple brings will just be a phone with current features on the now available gs7 or edge. There is absolutely nothing incredible any oem can do that Samsung hasn't thrown in the s7 & edge yet. If Apple wants people like me to continue to buy Apple then I need an s7 like phone with iOS on it.

32. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

iPhone will never die since it has no competitor. No phone runs iOS except iPhone and this is the strong point.

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