Report: Sluggish sales lead Apple to continue slashing iPhone production in the current quarter

Apple's shares are taking a little hit this afternoon following a report that sluggish iPhone sales are leading Apple to continue cutting production of its smartphone during the current quarter. During the January-March period, Apple produced 30% fewer iPhone units when compared to the same quarter a year earlier...
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116 Comments

47. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

One person's questionable is another person's correct. The point was there is only one phone running iOS. While Touchwiz may look different, it still functions essentially the same as stock, the only difference is features. So all Android is at its core the same. By that reasoning it's reasonable to compare iOS to Android.

53. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

VZWuser76, just for clarification Touchwiz is not an OS. Touchwiz is a skin or layer that adds extra functionality to Android. This is why I think the stock Android vs Touchwiz or SenseUI arguments are stupid. You can totally ignore Touchwiz on your Samsung phone and even use a different launcher. Some of the "lag" that Touchwiz used to have was caused by services (like S-Voice and Smart Stay) that were easy to turn off. The only real negative to Touchwiz is that it takes Samsung longer to release Android updates because Samsung has to make sure those updates work with Touchwiz. However, unlike Apple, at least Samsung takes the time to tests their updates before they release them. I don't mean to butt too far into your response, but I wanted to clarify a few things about Touchwiz and Android to iOS users who don't know what the two are.

61. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

VZWuser76 knows what a Custom UI is. He was about the various Android flavours on the market. Stock Android and TouchWiz have different frameworks, so they function differently. Comparing stock UI to TouchWiz is logical, even they're both onn the same OS!

74. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

As the guy in post #61 said, yes I realize that. OEM skins are in a sense a custom launcher. But the difference is that they take it further, changing things that are outside the realm of a typical launcher and more like a custom ROM, like changing the settings look and function. What I meant was that you could loosely say that if you wanted to get technical, you could break them up into different variations. Stock Android will look different from Touchwiz, Sense, LG's skin, Huawei's skin. If they didn't look different we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them. But even though they look different, at their core they function the same, they are all still Android. It's the same with Windows Mobile, when HTC added their Touchflo overlay. It was still Windows Mobile, but with a different look and some additional features. Yes, you can install a custom launcher on your Touchwiz device, but there are more differences than just how fast they're updated. Most every skinned device has radically changed the settings menu, which will need to be addressed whenever a new update comes out. And most manufacturers who skin their devices also customize the kernel on the devices, which is another thing they need to deal with when updates come down the pike. I have used skinned devices, in fact that's what I started out with. My first 4 devices where HTC with Sense on board, followed by a Samsung with their Nature version of Touchwiz, then to a couple Motorola devices, and now I have a Nexus with stock Android. I prefer a closer to stock version of Android. Updates are quicker, performance seems to be snappier, and it doesn't fall off after a few months like I've experienced with skinned phones.

82. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

What you said is true. Touchwiz is just skin it doesnt have anything to do with 'lag'.

84. tedkord

Posts: 17188; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's not entirely true. TW is built on Android, but it's rewritten didn't right down to the framework and kernel. You cannot use an AOSP or stock Android kernel with a TW rom and vice versa.

102. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Exactly my point. People bash TouchWiz without really knowing what and how it is!

77. Mxyzptlk unregistered

No it really doesn't since Samsung goes overboard. It's like a pancake. Stock is the traditional buttermilk pancakes while TouchWiz is a pancake plus syrup plus fruit topping plus whipped cream plus bacon bits plus Apple sauce plus bananas plus nuts plus hot fudge. I can keep going but I think you get the point. There's so much junk and clutter that it really ceases to be a pancake and more of a pile of toppings with no cohesion whatsoever.

91. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

While I'm not a fan of Touchwiz myself, it isn't up to me to tell other people that it's the wrong way to do it either. What they have done with TW isn't wrong, but when it comes to updates, they start having problems because they've spent probably a year getting the new version of TW running smoothly. But after the release, because they've have customized it so much, it's all on them to deliver a polished product. They have to decide if the changes made in stock needs to be brought ahead in TW or eliminated so they don't double up. What I've always suggested is that they decouple TW a bit. Leave the changes to the settings out, move most of their extra features out if the core OS and put them in the Playstore, and make TW essentially a custom launcher preinstalled on the device. The less they have to update at one time the faster they can get updates out. If there's an issue with one of the features like smart stay or S Voice, they'll be able to update them separately without having to wait for s full update to the core. The only issue with that is if certain apps are tied to hardware, then you can run into problems if they're separate from the core.

100. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

That's not entirely true. The "toppings" on Touchwiz can be disabled or turned off. Then you can add your own toppings (other launchers, etc). After that you end up with a pancake that taste just like you want it. As far as the kernel is concerned (and this is purely semantics), you can't use a "standard" AOSP kernel on just any device unless you want to be stuck using generic drivers that may or may not work. In most cases, you will still need to get custom drivers from the manufacturer. Like I mentioned before, the only negative to using Touchwiz and other custom skins is the fact that you need to rely on the manufacturer for Android updates. However, even if Samsung didn't put Touchwiz on their phones in favor of stock Android, you would still need rely on Samsung for updates because of hardware drivers and testing. IMO, the whole stock Android vs skins argument is completely stupid and those on the stock Android side are being disingenuous. Samsung, HTC, LG, etc sold stock Android phones (Google Edition) in the past right next to the ones with the skins. No one bought them in large enough numbers to justify the practice. People bought the phones with the skins while the stock versions set on the shelves. There were even articles from the same tech "journalists" who decried the use of skins questioning the reason for buying the stock Android version of a phone when the skinned versions offered more in the way of software enhancements. Even Nexus devices, the king of the stock Android experience, don't sell well (they are also freaking unstable (I owned a Nexus 7 2013 for two years)).

103. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

On the Google Play Edition phones, there's two reasons for low sales. First, they were only available unlocked for GSM carriers, which eliminates Verizon which has roughly half the US market. Second, they only sold them at full price, which at the time was a hard sell when you could buy the same hardware skinned on a subsidized plan. And back then, updates weren't seen as important as they are today. A device might see two updates a year, not monthly. So with all that in mind, if they were to offer Google Play Edition devices again, and offered them with a payment plan, I imagine they'd sell better this time around.

111. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Can't argue with the Verizon thing. It's dumb to not offer phones for Verizon or Sprint. I disagree that the Google Play Edition will sell well based on availability of updates. Normal people still don't care about updates and, IMO, they shouldn't. I think the whole update argument was started by Apple and naive tech "journalist" as a way to make iOS devices look better than they actually are. Android is so far ahead of iOS in features that it will take years before Apple catches up. An Android phone running Android 4.x does more and supports more features today than an iPhone running iOS 9.3. The only thing Android 5.x added was smoother animations and the only thing that Android 6.x added was better battery life (with Doze). However, Android is so modular that you can add these festures to older versions of Android through 3rd party applications and tweaks. Google and Android manufacturers have even put policies in place that allow older devices to recieve security patches (the real reason to update) without a bump in the OS version number. Apple brags that all iOS devices will receive the latest version of iOS when it is released, but what does that really mean in real life? First, Apple does a horrible job of testing these updates before they release them. The results is that over the past few years Apple has released updates with embarrassing bugs that have rendered some iOS devices useless or unstable. Second, not all of the features of the latest iOS update work with older devices due to hardware limitations. Apple devices are notoriously not future proof because Apple "optimizes" these devices to use fewer resources (RAM, processor cores, etc) and limits those resources in the devices. Most of their older iOS devices have less than 1GB of RAM vs older Samsung devices (for example) that usually have 2GB of RAM or greater. Newer software updates that add additional features usually require more RAM or processing power. Those features get "turned off" for older iOS devices that don't support them, which brings up the question "what did I really get by updating to the newest version of iOS?" (besides a bunch of debilitating bugs?). Also, you seriously had idiot iOS users who thought that their older iPhones would get TouchID or 3D Touch support if they updated to the latest version of iOS. Bottom line, frequent updates for older devices are not all they are cracked up to be.

112. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Apple didn't start Google worrying about updates, it was problems like Stagefright that really jump-started it. It has more to do with safeguarding their customers and ensuring any possible outbreak isn't widespread. This isn't about features, it's about security.

114. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Security updates are different then OS version number updates. You can add security patches without changing the version number for the OS. Why do people not understand this? For example, Microsoft has released security patches for versions of Windows almost every week for years now. Windows version numbers don't change with every security patch release. If so we would be on Windows 1000.x by now.

116. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Do you think I'm a complete idiot or something? Where did I ever say that security updates change the version number? I have a Nexus device, and I have gotten security updates each month, and I know it didn't change the version number. You may very well have been talking about OS version updates, I wasn't. The security updates is what has really jump started people wanting updates.

117. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

No I don't think you are an idiot (I don't know you). However, there is all this talk about Android devices not receiving the latest OS updates on time (version number change) and how this someone makes those devices less secure than older iOS devices. My Note 4 received three security updates prior to Christmas, yet the version of Android never changed. I was pointing out that these are two different things and it seems that the larger audience (to include tech "journalist" who should know better) doesn't understand this. A device running Android 4.x could theoretical be just as secure as a device running Android 6.x as long as it keeps receiving security patches.

118. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You're absolutely correct, except the problem is that most devices don't receive these security updates, so the next best solution is to get a newer OS version, which should address some of those security concerns for the simple fact that it's a newer version. Either way, the problem is that skinned versions do not receive updates as quick as stock ones do. It might be that they have more to test out because they have modified the core OS, or it could be because they are tied to a carrier and the carrier is holding it up. Samsung users made a big deal about an update going out before Nexus users got theirs recently, the only problem was it was the update the Nexus users got the month before. Now if they could always be only a month behind, that would be fine with me. And really, they could push it out regardless of carrier with their Kies system. I'm not completely hung up on the newest version update. I'll take them when they come, but I don't root or ROM my device. Hell, I haven't even tried any of the Android N previews. I'll take them when they get pushed out with less bugs than they have now. But even if you don't want the latest and greatest, another thing in the Nexus favor is that they are supported for longer than most other Android devices out there. With MM, they dropped support for the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7 2012. Most OEMS drop decent support for their devices after the second year, if not after the first. So while you may not see any value in it, there are others that do. I'm not saying that you shouldn't feel the way you do. I don't know you and can't tell you what you need. In the same way, saying it's stupid that people wanting quicker updates, be they full OS updates or security patches, and wanting them for longer periods, isn't right either. Unless there is something truly groundbreaking this year, this will be the first year that I won't upgrade my device. I've done so every year because either the phone's performance went downhill or they dropped support for it. This is the first time I have a device that I don't have to worry about that, and it's kinda nice.

76. Leo_MC

Posts: 6909; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That has never been Apple's way of doing business nor will ever be.

6. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

smart phone market is saturated, and there's VERY little reason to upgrade of late, unless there really is a feature you want, performance wise, even a SGS3 can still run most any game or such.

17. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

" even a SGS3 can still run most any game or such'Galaxy S3 can't run most hot games at a mere 720p!Yearly performance upgrade is always a good.

19. MrHate

Posts: 314; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

I remember my friend having a Galaxy S3. After 2 1/2 years it was as slow and buggy as my 10 year old toaster. But yes the newer flagships like the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 are still really good and you would only get a minimal performance and future boost if you upgrade them.

35. tedkord

Posts: 17188; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sure it did. Yet, somehow mine was just fine after three years.

65. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I still have an S3 and S4 and they both run as good now as they did then. I can actually see how slow it is compare to today's flagship. But when the S3 was the flagship, it was faster than anything i had before it.

107. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

True, even old S2 is still usable if you are not into gaming on your phone. Big improvement in past few years for me has not been so much about processor speed, but increased screen size, better camera quality and additional features only found on Samsung such as floating window multi-tasking and S-pen. Further improvement in processor speed would mean little for most non-gaming uses, unless there is capability to replace desktop/laptop computers with smart phones.

83. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Maybe too much junk apps or virus that run in background.

37. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I know the guy that bought my SGS3 when I upgraded, he still has it, it works fine, he is playing several games on it, that normally wouldn't be able to run because of store limitations, but it is rooted and there are ways around that. Runs those games just fine, you have to remember, it is only 720p So yeah, it is still a fine phone, mostly because the vast majority of mobile games keep the requirements very low to get as many people on as possible.

62. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

I still have my Sprint Note 2 (on Kit Kat 4.4.2) on a RingPlus free accountwhich also has a 720p panel and it still runs games and most apps exceptionally well.

108. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Yes I also have my old Galaxy Note 2 which I use everyday. I have Galaxy Note 4 as well, which I use occasionally just for photo taking, as it has significantly better camera. But having used both phones extensively, I still prefer to use Note 2 over Note 4 for most things. So unfortunately newer is not necessarily better, as smart phone improvements have slowed down.

29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

in honesty I wouldn't say its saturated an here is why. Right now Android is being used by 1/7th of the world's population. but in that group, there is a mixture of devices that go past phones. We have network equipment, car audio, watches, tv's and more that run some form of Android. iOS is purely iPod Touch and its siblings, and Apple TV. Between the 2, over 2Billion people are using these 2 platforms. So what are the other 5 billion people using? What age group are those people? Are they too old or too young to own or buy a phone? As saturated as the Windows market has been, it still has grown to 1.4Billion users. Saturated? Maybe. But what is happening is, the latest phone for the past 3 years are so good, people are goign to upgrade less. But upgrading will still be a revolving door, meaning there will still be a significant amount of upgrades every year. We just need to know who these other 5 Billion people are and why these options arent being purchased by them. Think of this. Shanghai China buy itself is 1/7th the world population. Yet China mobile doesn't have even 1/2 that in subscribers. So we know people in China, most of them can't afford these phones, even the ones at the bottom. So pricing must be most of the issue. if you could get a nice phone for example like the iPhone 6S for $100USD, they would sell like hotcake to that untapped market. These phones don't have to sell for $600. They cost 4200 to make. That means you could sell them at 50% the cost it takes to make them, and the volume sales would lead to some massive profits over time.

64. TerryTerius unregistered

The answer to that is fairly simple. Wealthy countries are in fact highly saturated, and developing markets are getting to that point as well. Most of those 5 billion people either don't have the economic means to afford a smart phone or the infrastructure doesn't really exist in their country to take advantage of modern communication. It's mostly economics. That will change over time, but for the time being countries that are flush with cash have high saturation and ubiquity of smart phones. Those that are not, don't.
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