Mumbai: Recently Apple admitted that the company is likely to witness the slowest iPhone sales since it was launched in 2007. The Cupertino-based technology giant acknowledged that the aberrant sales drop is a sign of global economic weakness and declining demand for its new smartphones.
Reports indicate that Apple shares have slumped more than 6.5 per cent on Wednesday and now the iconic company is under pressure to come up with new stratagems to see them through this edgy phase.
Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that the current quarter iPhone sales will decline, but he also mentioned that the company will continue investing in ramping up future iPhones to retain their position in the global market.
Why the hype?
Over the past decade, Apple has been at the pinnacle of technological innovations and has constantly offered revolutionary products, spear-headed by the popular series of iPhones.
Time and again the company has excelled at keeping pace with the rapidly evolving smartphone and consumer electronics industry. The company has managed to set new standards and now enjoys a cult-like following.
However, some analysts have explained that the company’s current situation is a result of the same high-standards it set over the years, and their recent releases have not been up to the mark.
Researchers have warned that even the new phones may not be enough to spark the kind of sales frenzy Apple experienced after it launched the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models with 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens in 2014.
"We are not seeing any meaningful upgrades" or significant new features, wrote Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang. "It is in our view that iPhone 7 will not sell as well as the iPhone 6."
Moreover, analysts also explained that Apple does not have too many alternatives for near term growth, as sales of both iPads and Mac computers dipped considerably in the last quarter of 2015.
Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said that the new Apple Watch did well during the holiday quarter, but has failed to maintain the high numbers later on.
Maestri and other executives say they expect sales of iPads, Macs and Apple Watches to grow in the future. And the company is widely believed to be working on other new products.
According to BTIG Research Walter Piecyk, Apple’s other products and services have the capability to provide additional growth, but are insufficient to replace the iPhone as a central source of revenue.
While the next iPhone could help Apple improve this year's sales figures, he added, "I don't think anyone's expecting the return to hyper-growth that Apple saw in 2015."
FBR Capital Markets Analyst Daniel Ives, said “Apple faces a few tough quarters ahead until we get to the build-up around iPhone 7 later this year,". He suggested the next iPhones will "turn this ship back into growth waters."
Not that the company is in a critical situation, as they managed to set new records with their last quarter earnings, but the decline is sales of the iPhone should be an eye-opener for the company.
While it is certain that the company’s self-driving car or virtual reality devices are still far-flung dreams, some analysts have predicted that the next generation iPhones might be a game changer for Apple.
According to a report by Apple Insider, a note to investors by well-known KGI Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that the company’s iPhone 7 Plus model will be available in two 5.5-inch variants—one with a single snapper and the other one dual-camera setup.
He also pointed out that a superior dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus model will use two 12MP compact image sensors (CIS). According to Kuo, the dual-compact camera module (CCM) will be outsourced from Sony.
One of the cameras will employ optical image stabilisation and wider field view, while the other camera will be equipped with a telephoto lens. However, it is not known if the single camera variant will receive optical zoom feature.
The report further suggested that the iPhone 7 Plus may also incorporate Linx imaging technology, which will stitch together image data from both the camera modules for churning out ultra-high resolution pictures.
Kuo estimates that the dual-camera module on the new device will help Apple recover from this shaky phase. The iPhone 7 models are also speculated to sport wireless earbuds, according to numerous reports.
While the speculated launch dates of the next iPhone models edge closer, there have also been rumours regarding a 4-inch iPhone, dubbed Apple 5se and an all-new iPad in March. Moreover, the company is also planning to introduce an updated Apple Watch with an all-new OS update in the same month.
If all of the above developments are in progress, the company might have already started its journey towards the road to recovery.
With inputs from AP...