Apple is expected to suffer one of its worst years for iPhone shipments in 2016, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo warns that this year’s iPhone 7 won’t bring many reasons to upgrade.
In a new research note, Kuo predicts that under the “worse case scenario,” Apple will ship just 190 million iPhones during fiscal 2016, which is 3 million fewer than it shipped in 2014. In the best case scenario, Apple will ship just 205 million units.
If the Cupertino company manages to reach that figure, it will still be a decline of 11.6 percent year-over-year. If it only reaches 190 million shipments, it will be a decline of 18.1 percent. Other analysts expect Apple to ship between 210 million and 230 million units.
Kuo also warns that Apple could be the only top-five smartphone maker that suffers a decline in shipments year-over-year for 2016. That would mean that the iPhone has underperformed in comparison with the rest of the smartphone industry, which it has never done before.
“Kuo points to several reasons for Apple’s slowing shipments in 2016,” according to 9to5Mac, which obtained a copy of the note. One of those reasons is that the iPhone SE will have little impact on Apple’s overall performance in the smartphone market.
The other reason Kuo states is that there won’t be “many attractive selling points for the iPhone 7.” Kuo has previously predicted the device will look almost identical to the latest iPhone’s, with only internal improvements — kind of like another ‘S’ upgrade.
Kuo believes that we’ll have to wait until late 2017 for a redesigned iPhone, which is expected to bring an OLED display and a new “all-glass” form factor, similar to that of the iPhone 4s — and indeed Samsung’s latest Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 series.
While we don’t normally read too much into analyst predictions, Kuo does have a very good track record.