For The First Time Ever, iPhone Shipments Are Down
It was bound to happen eventually, despite Apple’s historically dominant streak. This week, the tech giant registered its first ever decrease in iPhone sales, with the total volume of iPhone shipments falling 16 percent to 51.2 million units. That figure is clearly not as good as the 61.1 million units of iPhone devices that Apple shipped during the first quarter of last year, but right around the 51 million units projected by most industry watchers for the months spanning January to March of this year.
And that is not all -- Apple also revealed that sales for the first quarter of 2016 may decrease double digits again. The iPhone maker is expecting sales of somewhere between $41 billion and $43 billion for the second quarter of this year (spanning April to June), well below the projected $47.3 billion estimate offered by various analysts.
As explained by Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, the company has seen significantly challenging times as of late in trying to keep its dominant streak alive. Still, Cook has expressed optimism that the future of Apple is still good. He made special mention of the company’s product pipeline, which is ready to unveil some new and amazing innovations for mobile consumers around the world.
But rebounding from slumping sales is never a walk in the park (just ask Samsung). Not only will Apple try to ship a lot of iPhone units, but it needs to ship more units that it did during the same quarter a year ago. With more challenging times ahead, this will prove to be a tall order. It is safe to say that Apple’s smartphone division has never been tested as it is being tested now.
iPhone sales make up more than two thirds of Apple’s total revenues. A decrease in iPhone shipments will likely mean a dip in the company’s gross earnings, too. The aim now for the company is pretty simple -- it just needs consumers to start buying iPhones again in droves. But it is the doing part that is far more tricky.
The fact of the matter is -- people just are not that keen on buying the newest iPhone model anymore, or at least not as much as years past. The concept of iPhone fatigue has become as real as ever, with more and more people choosing not to purchase a new iPhone because either they already have one, or they just do not see the newest iPhone model as cool enough to get.
Of course, Apple has always been smart about how it tries to maximize its earnings -- you never see the company lose its focus by introducing lots of iPhone models every year, just sticking to the usual two, and this year, to three (with the recently released iPhone SE and the iPhone 7 devices coming out later this year). It has tried exploring wearable devices (the Apple Watch) and other non-smartphone gadgets (the Apple TV), but unfortunately, those products can not match the revenue stream produced by iPhone devices year in, year out.
There is a first time for everybody, even someone as mighty as Apple. At the end of the day, Apple will just have to move on from its first ever slump in iPhone sales, and try its best to rebound from it.