Apple may have to weather out not just a plateau in financial success, but a decline.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has rewound his estimates of total iPhone shipments for 2016. As opposed to the Street figures between 210 million to 230 million, Kuo’s target number centers around the 200 million mark with his bet weighed towards the lower end of his range.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus sales have been tepid and early returns from the iPhone SE indicate meager checkouts for that product. Kuo believes that demand from new markets has not made up for falling demand in developed markets. Kuo’s investment note has also cast doubt on a CNBC report of Chinese iPhone SE sales, saying that KGI could not substantiate the 3.4 million first-weekend pre-orders claimed.
Furthermore, Apple could fail at reinventing the wheel come September — the only major change to the next generation of iPhones will reportedly come in the more expensive and larger iPhone 7 Plus in the form of a dual rear-camera module. Kuo thinks that change alone won’t be enough to increase sales.
Will the 2017 iPhone prove sparkly enough to reverse Apple’s slump? Or is this a new normal for the company that has outlived the mobile bubble? Or maybe we can just wait to be surprised over the next eight months.