iPhone Sales Have Finally Stalled

IPhone Sales Have Finally Stalled

It looks like interest in the iPhone is finally waning. For the first time since its creation in 2007, Apple is reporting a year-over-year dip in demand for its pricey pocket computer. That said, Apple still sold a lot of iPhones! In a quarterly earnings call, Tim Cook just revealed that Apple has sold 74.77 million iPhones since September. That's good news in a sense, since Apple really wanted to hit any number above 74.5 million iPhones sold, the ludicrous watermark established after sales of last year's larger-than-usual iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But the increase in sales is almost insignificant.

Tim Cook spent time comparing (smartly) how impressive the numbers are to iPhone sales two years and five years ago, but not last year because then he'd have to say the phrase "zero per cent growth". Other than that, Cook pins most of the blame on "weakening currencies in international markets".

Apple's first ever iPhone sales plateau doesn't necessarily mean it's losing the title as reigning smartphone sales champion, but it does mean that Apple's biggest source of revenue (about two-thirds, actually) might be stalling. Although that southward trending sales figure is a first for Apple, it certainly isn't the first for most smartphone makers, who've been feeling a similar mobile sales plateau for at least a year aided in no small part by a slowing Chinese economy.

IPhone Sales Have Finally Stalled

iPhone sales in millions from reported numbers starting in January 2008.

iPhones are also starting to have staying power, much like Apple's iPad lineup. Early iPhones offered massive improvements over what came before — with some software even being upgraded into oblivion due to out-of-date processors. The iPhone 6s offered little more than the arguably useful 3D Touch and gimmick-filled Live Photos.

The 6s did come with the faster A9 chip, but the Pew Research Center shows that the top five uses for smartphones are now text messaging, voice/video calling, internet, email and social networking. You don't really need blazing processors for any of those things. As the push for smartphone-powered VR continues, that could change, but until then a better processor doesn't really mean much.

Still, this number alone isn't enough to declare that iPhone sales will forever be on the decline. When looking at the sales difference between iPhone 5 and 5s, you can see that the 5s only eked out a measly 3.2 million more than its predecessor. The 6s shows similar trends, though at an alarmingly smaller number.

Apple's answer to this less-than-stellar report seems to be "strength in numbers". Rumours of three different iPhones for 2016, the iPhone 7, 7 Plus and the much talked about 4" iPhone 5se, will most likely right the mobile ship, especially if Apple sticks with its bi-annual habit of reinventing the iPhone's design. Some leaks already suggest as much.



    Yeah, or it could be because the 6 is an over-sized monstrosity that doesn't fit comfortably in a pocket. Bloody phablets... Hurry up with that slimmer 7 already.

      I recently shifted to a 6s from a SGS5 and have no issues with the size.
      I find anything smaller than the 6s nearly unusable in this day and age.
      I realise that may just be me.
      The 6s Plus though that's a different story.
      That is ludicrously large.

        Your tastes are probably shared by all the folks I see on my commute who primarily seem to use their phones for scrolling down tumblr or instagram. Big pictures on big screens, which go into big handbags (or, I dunno, big pockets - don't see that part as often).

          Also helps when one is getting older and eyes start struggling. :)
          That is actually one of the problems I have had going to the 6s.
          My SGS5 was big enough for me to read stuff without my glasses.
          With the 6s I need my glasses more. :)

            Fortunately, this will never be a concern for me, as I'm never going to remain youthful and fully-functioning indefinitely; functionally immortal. Right?

      I have the 6 and don't think I'll bother upgrading for 1-2+ years or until it breaks. Such a good phone and great size, I don't need to drop 1k for some minor increment in tech.

      The 6+ is a beast and I'm glad I didn't end up getting one.

        See, I've stuck with the 5S and avoided getting the 6 until they make a smaller one, so where I normally probably would've got an upgrade, this year... I haven't.

        It's probably just an interesting coincidence that sales have stalled, but I like to pretend that it's vindication of my opinion. :)

        Last edited 27/01/16 4:34 pm

          Hahaha I hear you, I picked up a 5 recently and loved the nuggety design. My poor eyes prefer the size bump of the 6 but I think overall I still prefer the rectangle-ness of the 5 over the 6's rounded edges.... it's all such minute stuff haha.

      no wrong. Stop being generalist transietmind. My GFs iPhone 6 she loves it and fits in her pocket.

        Hm, alright... let's give that a shot.

        Yeah, or it could be because the 6 is an over-sized monstrosity that doesn't fit comfortably in my pocket. Bloody phablets... Hurry up with that slimmer 7 already.

        There we go.

          what are you talking about ? be specific. Just say 6+ matey

    As much as I enjoy the iPhone I feel like Apple need to do a complete overhaul of iOS. The UI is dated and can be clunky and it feels like it's not built for larger devices like the 6+, iPads and now iPad pro. They need to do something radical with it.

      Yeah it's funny but on my 6s I have no issue with the UI. I think it works pretty well. Although I do miss widgets from android. However on the ipad it definitely feels a bit odd. To much white space I think.

    It could be a bit of my phone does everything I need why upgrade. I recently upgraded my android phone due to the old one dying. And only got an s6 because if I'm getting a new one I'll get the current model. But my old phone did still do everything I needed it to so an s6 still felt like spending more than I really needed to.

      Exactly. People are so pessimistic about this but really they have just reached market saturation.
      Everyone has one now, and they are they are also 'good enough' now, which means people don't need to upgrade as often, so of course the number of people buying new ones isn't going to grow.

      Of course to the ludicrously-unsustainable-growth addicts in the financial world, this is just terrible...

      Yeah, now they are *only* doing $200k in sales *a second* with just one product ... they are doomed.

        Totally agree g-man. I still have an S4 working well. It does everything I need it to do and the new generation of phones are only 10% better in my opinion .

    Maybe because people who bought the 6 haven't upgraded to the 6s which is almost exactly the same except for 3D touch and different colors.

    My 3yo iPhone 5 does all I need ATM. The only compelling reasons to upgrade is purely for a better camera and larger capacity.

    The $1200 privilege doesn't seem conducive for my budget...

    Alternatively, you could consider the iPhone 6 the outlier and the 6S is just continuing the trend set in other years? I don't know, it's too soon to tell, but looking at the graph above the 6S does appear to be more in line with the trend than the 6.

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