iPhone sales declined in every part of the world last quarter, not just China

iPhone sales declined in every part of the world last quarter, not just China
As Apple confirmed in its two most recent earnings calls, iPhone sales have been consistently down year-on-year since October. The Cupertino giant blamed this primarily on weak demand in China, but recent SEC filings show this isn’t the full story.

Weak iPhone sales in all regions, America included


Spotted first by Cult of Mac, Apple’s recent Form 10-Q filing with the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) contains a detailed breakdown of performance over the past six months by both product category (iPhone, iPad, Services, etc.) and geographical region (Americas, Europe, Greater China, etc.).

iPhone sales, as mentioned above, have been down for the past six months. The Greater China region which includes China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan has undoubtedly impacted Apple's total shipments the most, but in actual fact the company has been experiencing “lower iPhone unit sales in all the reportable geographical segments" since October. This has resulted in year-on-year revenue declines for all regions except the Americas (North and South America), with Greater China being the most affected followed by Europe and Japan.


In almost every geographical segment, Apple’s lower iPhone shipments were partially offset by improved performance in other product categories. For example, in Europe the company’s Services and Wearables businesses grew significantly, while over in Japan Services and iPad were key. In the Americas, however, strong Services and Wearables performance managed to entirely offset weak iPhone shipments and push year-on-year growth to a decent 4%. 

The situation in China seems to finally be improving


Taking a look at the company’s performance over the past three months rather than six, it seems as though Apple’s efforts in certain regions are finally beginning to pay off. Other markets, however, seem to be in decline. 

As mentioned by Apple in its recent earnings call, the company noticed improved demand in Greater China towards the end of the quarter. It didn’t elaborate on the matter, but it seems to have translated into slightly better financial results for the brand as, for the three months ending March 31st, the year-on-year sales decline was 22%. This is still pretty major, but it represents an improvement over the -25% average Apple has experienced in the region since October.

Another region that has improved is Japan. Over the past six months, Apple’s sales have dropped an average of 2%, but throughout the first three months of 2019 sales were actually up 1%. Similarly, the Americas continued to experience growth throughout the past quarter.


Moving on to Europe and the Rest of Asia Pacific, these two geographical segments didn’t fare as well. Since October, Apple has experienced an average revenue decline in these regions of 4% and 2% respectively. But during the first quarter of the year, these numbers nosedived to 6% and 9% due primarily to even lower iPhone demand.

iPhone sales are expected to remain flat throughout 2020


Regarding Apple’s performance throughout the rest of 2019, the Cupertino giant now appears confident that it can improve the situation in Greater China and ultimately slow down its year-on-year decline. Nevertheless, it’s still forecasting a drop for this current quarter and, with business in Europe and the Rest of Asia Pacific seemingly struggling, it’ll remain to be seen how Apple handles the situation.

Towards the end of 2019, Apple’s next-gen iPhones should provide a decent boost to demand. However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted almost no growth. Instead, Kuo expects iPhone sales to pick up towards the end of 2020 as a result of the first 5G models which should feature modems from both Samsung and Qualcomm.

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47 Comments

1. LawnBoy

Posts: 154; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Inferior products eventually are revealed to the drones that mindlessly fork over a $1000+. At some point, even the most mindless pukes realize they can get more bang for their buck with other phones

12. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I agree. Other OEM's like Samsung who do have $1000 phones now, I'm sure are not expecting to have high sales in this category anymore. For me the Note and S haven't changed that much for them to have moved from the price of $700, to now being $1000. But at leats with Smasung, you do have other options at lower price points, which is where you make up the difference in sales. But even that wasn't enough to keep Samsung above 300M phones last year. But Apple on the other hand, doesn't offer cheaper models. To get cheaper you have to get older. Why should I buy an older flagship for $400, when I can get a brand new phone with the latest hardware for the same? Apple needs to add cheaper models to its new lineup, or they are gonna fall hard. This is where the fanboys just don't get it. Yes lots of rich people own iPhone, but it is poor people who buy the biggest of them period; and without those sales, Apple can't sustain itself on just rich people. Now they are finding that out by pricing 97% of the planet out of their base. That's why their other hardware has never had high sales. A high price where its just not worth it.

16. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"To get cheaper you have to get older." X, 8 and 7 are only older in design. Apple never had products for budget users and - from the looks of it - doesn't have them in plan.

24. Vancetastic

Posts: 951; Member since: May 17, 2017

Hast thou forgotten the SE? I guess Apple has.

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7028; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple has in their plans, is to see how much they can squeeze out of their customers. Not one OEM, except Apple doesn't include a fast charger or USB-C cable in the box. You even have to buy a 3.5 mm audio dongle. You always have to buy extra if you want to connect an iPhone to even their own Mac's. Apple dictates where their customers go, and what they should be using. The Android OEMs, will make smartphones with notches, and without notches, and will also include finger print scanners, with facial recognition as well. They give you multiple options. Apple's mentality is our way, or highway. I guess that is another reason why Apple only sold 36 million iPhones last quarter.

44. mackan84

Posts: 281; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

“Why should I buy an older flagship for $400, when I can get a brand new phone with the latest hardware for the same?” I’ve always been curious about this. Is it the new design in hardware or how is a cpu/camera compared to a new midrange vs an old flagship?

47. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

My iPhone 7 is still better (performance, camera, features) than any mid-range from 2018. Mid-range phones (when compare android with Android this time) have another disadvantage: they lack software features (for instance, A series lack multi user). Today, for 500€ I would definitely get a S9 or a 7 (plus, even though I find it to be rather big for my taste).

2. vgking9699

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Galaxy phones sales are sucking too, that’s why even the galaxy s10 phones are always on sale everywhere you look, people just won’t buy them at full price

6. TechNeck

Posts: 647; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Those promotions were put on by 3rd party carriers of the phone and they do it for Apple as well. And people can say the same for Apple, even I'm not willing to pay full price for an XS when my X is working fine. Stop attacking Samsung just because of Apple's shortcomings. It doesn't look good.

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7028; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

At the end of the day Apple sold 15.8 million less iPhones for Q1 2019 to equal 36.4 million total iPhones that were sold. Samsung sold 6.3 million less to equal 71.9 million smartphones sold for the same time frame. The real truth is that smartphones these days are getting better and better, and nowadays, even the mid range smartphones are good enough for the vast majority. Gone are the sluggish smartphone days. They are lasting longer. But also you get more bang for your buck with Android. Apple Nickles and dimes you to death. They are so cheap these days that they don't include a fast charger. No 3.5 mm audio dongle or jack. Plus they remove features and expect you to like whatever they come up with. Here's looking at you TouchID.

13. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Only on the high end. But Samsung sells more than high end phones and can makeSamsung fell from $320M to 290M. But Smasung had alternative models not at the high end at good price for a new phone. Apple doesn't unless you want to buy an older model. Why should anyone pay $500 for a 3 year old phone, when you can get a brand new product for the same price with better everything?

45. mackan84

Posts: 281; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

But is it really better? 3 year old flagship-cpu vs a new midrange-cpu? I don’t have the urge or time to look up what 2019 midrange cpu and it’s geekbench is in the snapdragon-environment.

3. Be_Mine

Posts: 219; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Come on Apple. Please sell the upcoming 2019 iPhone models for at least $2500 Dollars a piece. That way, you can still make up for the decline in sales with the profit you get from the fewer numbers of items sold. Continue to do it till you end up like Nokia or Blackberry.

4. User123456789

Posts: 666; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Easy .. Make a phone without notch (full bezel looks better) and stop charging more than $2000 in many countries. It is ridiculous to see Xr almost 50% more expensive than XZ2, G7 and S9.

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

No iPhone has "notches" and all of them (with a single exception in a handful of countries which hardly matter) are cheaper than $2000.

36. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

LMAO Yes , iPhone do have a notch.

39. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Mine doesn't have a single notch on the body.

46. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Then you have a older one. New iPhones have a NOTCH

48. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I have a notch Free XR. Mine has a thin top bezel - thinner than S9's or Note 9's.

5. iloveapps

Posts: 715; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Its really good move for apple not to reveal sales. Profit is enough for them to speculate how many units. Still, apple got the best quarter, amassing billions in revenue by hundred fold compared to losing android OEMs. Its a good thing that apple idevices are 1.4billion active devices with many users subscribe into apple services. If these become lower then that’s the time to panic.

14. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

And their profits went down too and will nue to do so as iPhone sales continue to drop. No matter how much Apple makes from services, like for example Apple music, 100M subscribers as an example for $10, is not the same as 100M sales of a product that cost $1000. if you think Apple is gonna get the same amount of profit, you're just being ridiculous. In 3 years or less, Apple could be selling less than 140M phones per year and they are falling fast when you consider they capped at only 220M. Apple can't price themselves out of this bind, unless they add cheaper new models to their lineup and compete directly with others.

37. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Sales down = less profit. But thanks for the laugh Peaceboy.

7. Chris_ABN

Posts: 189; Member since: May 16, 2018

Good. I f**king hate Apple.

8. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Excellent news, to be honest. The stupendous price increases, also copied by most other manufacturers, have proven to be a failure. Apple did not get away with it. Consumers will not be fooled. Most other manufacturers backed down, you can now find a Galaxy S10e at around 580 EUR and an S10 at 700 EUR, which are fair prices for a flagship.

9. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Galaxy S10 here is 949 EUR and S10e is 799 EUR. So very far from your prices. Problem is not the price, problem is what you get for the price, people aren’t fooled, they know that they already have great device and most propably doesn’t even thinking to upgrade. Lower prices wouldn’t change much. If XS could cost 500 EUR i still wouldn’t upgrade, i’m more than happy with my X.

15. oldskool50

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Lower prices would change it. Why do you think cheaper priced phones are the biggest sellers? Are you even old enough to shop? When Samsung was selling 300M phones, only roughly 100M were the S and Note. after they started increasing the price, the sales of those 2 models went down, while the A and J as examples, sales went up. If you think this has to do with people keeping phones longer, then you have no idea. Yeah they are gonna keep them longer because they don't want to pay Apple $1000 for a new one, and 95% of the world simply can't. A family of 2 adults and 2 teens who all want iPhone's now have to pay $4000 vs $2800 when they were all $700 That is a significant increase dude. You're to young to understand. Shouldn't you be in school? I think you need to go back. The iPhone 7 was $700 to start. That same phone now is basically $1000 everywhere except in the USA. That is a significant jump all at one time. Other OEM's who had flagships, did stepup pricing over time. S5 was $599, S6 was $650, S7 was $750, S8+ was $850 and the S9 was $900 and S10 is $1000. While Apple's iPhone 8 was $799, and then the X jumped to $999. There was no progressive price increase like Samsung did and now Apple is getting killed by it. Samsung has NEW phones below flagship cost. with Apple you have to buy a 3 year old phone. People aren't doing that anymore.

30. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

”Shouldn't you be in school? I think you need to go back.” This coming from guy who tried to teach everyone that 50% is 100% from something, priceless!

20. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Of course you can find any product at full price, sellers are very eager to fool you if you don't shop around. Just buy them from Amazon Italy for the prices I mentioned, you will get the same warranty and support.

18. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Apple has not increased the prices, it built more expensive iPhones; if you want cheaper, get a 7 or a 8 - they are cheaper than mid-ranges.

21. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Or get a Galaxy S10, much cheaper and much better.

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