iPhone Shipments to Drop in 2016, iPhone 8 to Launch in 2017: Reports

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iPhone Shipments to Drop in 2016, iPhone 8 to Launch in 2017: Reports
  • Apple may see a shipment decline of 11.6-18.1 percent, say analysts.
  • The iPhone 7 is expected to be a minor update over the iPhone 6s.
  • Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 in 2017, forgoing iPhone 7.

There have been enough rumours for the upcoming iPhone 7, which is likely to launch later this year. Although these rumours make the flagship model sound interesting, analysts from KGI Securities and Barclays hold a contrary perspective. According to them, the Cupertino-based tech firm might witness a decline in growth in 2016, even in its best case scenario, claiming the smartphone will not be sufficiently attractive to users.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities, published a research note predicting a decline in the company's growth in 2016. He says that in the "worst case scenario" Apple could see a downward progression in iPhone shipment numbers in 2016 (190 million units), lower than what it saw in 2014 (193 million units), and a decline of 18.1 percent year-on-year. In addition, it can also be one of the only top-five companies to see decline in shipment year-on-year.

Kuo's research note (via 9to5 Mac) adds that even in the best case scenario Tim Cook and company could ship only 205 million units of the iPhone, which is a decline of 11.6 percent year-over-year. This is also below the previous predictions made by analysts - 210 million to 230 million.

The analyst says that this decline might occur due to various reasons. First, the iPhone SE would not have much impact on the company's overall performance. Further, the iPhone 7 won't have much "attractive selling points". According to him, the iPhone needs a visual redesign along with new commercial features to attract customers.

Mark Moskowitz, an analyst from Barclays, builds on the same claims adding that the iPhone 7 will be an incremental update and will miss out on major redesign changes. However, it will come with a slimmer body due to the removal of the 3.5mm jack. He adds (via Fortune) that the upcoming flagship smartphone will simply be a "replacement device" for iPhone 6 users.

iPhone sales, as per his prediction, will fall 1.8 percent from 2015 due to the absence of that "must-have" appeal.

He however says that 2017 will be a blockbuster year for Apple as the company might bring a fresh new design for its iPhone, a revamp so major Apple will reportedly forgo the iPhone 7s, and launch the iPhone 8. As per him, Apple will be ditching the "S" generation upgrade and will introduce the iPhone 8 as its latest flagship, instead of an iPhone 7s model. Citing "major form factor changes" he adds that the rumoured iPhone 8 can feature an Oled display, no home button replacing it with a Force Touch-type control interface, and wireless charging. The iPhone 8 is anticipated to boost Apple's shipments by 10.3 percent.

It is worth mentioning that Apple last week struck a deal with Samsung and ordered as many as 100 million Oled panels from the South Korean tech giant.

Kuo too predicts 2017 as a positive year for Apple because of the redesigned rumoured iPhone 7s or iPhone 8 launch. The analyst says the Cupertino tech firm will use an all-glass iPhone 4-like build for the iPhone 7s and will switch to Amoled displays. It could also launch a 5.8-inch model.


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