Since the release of the first iPhone back in 2007, Apple has been on a remarkable winning streak. Each quarter, the company has sold more units of the iPhone than it did in the same quarter the previous year.
As the company prepares for its latest iPhone event Wednesday, some observers are wondering: Can the company keep that streak alive?
There are some analysts projecting that the company will see a year-over-year decline in quarterly unit sales during the holiday quarter (Apple’s FY2016 Q1). Others point to the first three months of 2016 (Apple’s FY2016 Q2) as the point for a possible drop.
In some ways, the company may be a victim of its own success. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were such monster hits, and so many people upgraded, that some analysts believe the expected iPhone 6S is going to have a hard time matching that momentum. There just aren’t enough differences in design or features to generate the same enthusiasm.
There is also concern that China’s economy will continue to stall, though Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently said the company is performing strongly there despite these headwinds.
Personally, I would still be a bit shocked to see an actual drop in the number of iPhones sold. In terms of units, I think there is going to be a big surge when, as expected, Apple drops the price of the iPhone 6. The company typically does this for its mid-tier phone, and a discounted iPhone 6 will represent a huge deal that may trigger another wave of upgrades.
I still have an iPhone 5, but my wife got an iPhone 6 this summer. And while my three-year-old iPhone 5 still works great, the quality of photos from the iPhone 6 has left me more than a little jealous.
In any case, whether growth just slows a bit, or current numbers drop, it’s going to be interesting to see how Apple manages Wall Street’s expectations. The company has been at this juncture several times in recent years, its demise or decline widely feared.
And each time, it’s kept its head down and just kept moving forward. No matter how much the rest of the world may freak out, I expect the company to ride through this next potential rough patch with the same attitude.
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