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iPhone: What’s behind the sales slump and what can fix it?

iphone 7 camera hero

Apple’s quarterly figures aren’t exactly grim reading. The Cupertino company is still making around $100 million a day, despite the fact that it’s just reported its first annual loss in 15 years.

However, it’s clear that there’s a drop in iPhone sales which is causing its profits to drop.

So, why are sales down? And what can Apple do to get them back to where they were? Read on and we’ll explain all.

Peak Apple

apple store queues

Analysts believe that a key reason behind the iPhone’s sales slide is saturation.

Although Apple sold a hefty 45.5 million iPhones between July and September, that’s still a drop of 5% compared with the same period last year.

It seems that those who want an iPhone already have one or are waiting for a future update instead.

Devices last longer and can run the latest iOS 10 software easily, meaning upgrading isn’t a priority for many.

The result is that Apple’s sales are suffering. Maintaining the momentum it enjoyed two years ago in the wake of the record–breaking iPhone 6 launch was always going to be an impossible task.

Recent phones aren't enough of an upgrade

iPhone 7 Plus headphones and dock in hand

Sure, the iPhone 7 comes in a new jet black colour option and dispenses with a headphone jack.

And yes, the iPhone 7 Plus has a swanky dual lens camera. But this year’s iPhones are very much minor tweak to the previous two years models.

Apple did see an upturn in sales from July to September compared with April to June, with 5 million more phones sold.

But when previous years have seen 13 million iPhones sold on their opening weekend, that rise isn’t spectacular.

The fact is that the new hardware feels a bit staid to many people and not as appealing as rival handsets from Google and Samsung.

There are some great alternatives

Google pixel resting front

The Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 are excellent iPhone alternatives, ones which consumers love and tech writers have praised to the skies.

Throw in the fact that cheaper, better smartphones are appearing all of the time and it’s easy to see why Apple can’t keep up the same pace it enjoyed a few years ago.

Apple isn’t the only kid in town any more when it comes to design smarts and slick software.

An all-new design

iphone 7 concept hero image

The key way for Apple to fix this problem is new hardware.

For months we’ve heard that Apple design head Jonathan Ive and his team are working on a brand new take on the iPhone which will be released in 2017.

Next year marks ten years since the first iPhone and Apple is expected to pull out all the stops.

Word is that the home button will be gone, replaced with an all–screen device, with plans for OLED and curved screen models.

By then, iPhone 6-owners will be ready to upgrade and sales will most likely rebound. At least that’s what Tim Cook and co will be hoping.

Category: Features
Tagged: apple, iphone, iphone 7
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