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Have iPhone Sales Peaked?

Have iPhone Sales Peaked?

It has been reported that for 2016, Apple is planning to produce fewer smartphones. Some industry watchers are now saying that this may be a sign that the iPhone maker might be having some sales related woes. The report came from Nikkei Asian Review, a Japanese business publication, and it purports that the tech giant will be lowering the volume of iPhone devices it will be manufacturing by about one third of its normal output in the first quarter of this year.


On a related note, suppliers of the components used in building iPhones have also reported that the number of orders for parts have been reduced. Having heard about this, various investment firms are now believing that the overall production output of Apple’s flagship devices will slow down in the next three months.


Various industry analysts are also sort of expecting a decrease in iPhone production in 2016, due to iPhone sales having reached peak production levels. It is no secret that the smartphone market now, at least in major market regions, is already saturated. With most customers desiring to own an iPhone device already purchasing one, sales could not possibly grow.


However, the real situation is far less simple than that. Even if Apple reduces its current production output or experiences slow sales in the next several months, that does not necessarily mean that the total demand for iPhones is decreasing or that a less robust period in terms of sales will become a sign that a global slump in sales is imminent. 


Despite posting impressive sales figures, the current iPhone models (the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, both released in September of last year) were not able to surpass the numbers of their predecessor, 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. One factor that contributed to this may have been the fact that, as “S” models, the new iPhones did not really bring anything new to the table. Or perhaps, people who bought the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were just not ready yet to upgrade to a newer model.


Still, others think that fluctuations in currency values affected iPhone sales during the last few months of 2015, leading to lots of unsold units of the device in major markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia. As Nikkei argues, slowing down production this year would allow the unsold inventory to be cleared out, with normal production expected to get back by April.


There are others who think this might just be a false alarm. After all, they argue, this is Apple we are talking about. And with the new, upcoming iPhone 7 waiting to be introduced later in the year, sales are sure to be up again by then, that is, if they were ever down in the first place. And with markets like China buying iPhones more than ever, it is business as usual for Apple going into 2016.