In a new research note published today by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it has been predicted that Apple may see fewer iPhone shipments in 2016 than what it saw in 2014, due to the fact that this year’s ‘iPhone 7’ will not have any “attractive” updates, 9to5Mac is reporting. The analyst continued that the Cupertino giant may see an 18% reduction in shipment growth and 3 million fewer iPhones than it sold in 2014, which could make it the worst-performing top 5 smartphone brand in 2016.
Kuo predicts that even if things go well for Apple, the company is expected to sell no more than 205 million iPhones this year, which is still 5 million short of the lower end of analysts’ estimate range and amounting to a 11.6% reduction in growth. He further predicts that Apple would underperform the overall smartphone industry for the first time ever this year. Kuo added that iPhone SE will have little impact on the company’s overall performance, though he raised his prediction for the device from 12 million shipments to 18 million shipments.
“Given the fact that shipments fell YoY for the first time in 1Q16, we don’t think large-screen replacement demand will contribute much to growth. To sustain growth, the iPhone needs to come up with more innovative features to revitalize the user experience, for example in form factor design, software and hardware specs. We don’t see many attractive selling points for iPhone 7 in 2H16 and are conservative on 2H16F shipments. While we revise up 2016F iPhone SE shipments from 12mn to 18mn units, this won’t offset overall iPhone shipments decline”.
Rumours so far have predicted that the ‘iPhone 7’ may feature a design similar to that of the iPhone 6, though it will be slightly thinner with flush rear camera and possibly see removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack.