Apple is ready for muted demand for the iPhone 15. Cupertino has acknowledged that the US smartphone industry is in decline, with the introduction of its newest devices still more than a month away.
The latest quarter was a bad one for Apple’s hardware businesses. Sales of iPhones came in at $39.67 billion, which was 2% lower than the same quarter a year earlier and below Wall Street projections. Sales of Apple’s Mac computers and iPad tablets fell by 7% and 20%, respectively.
According to Apple’s statement released after the report’s release, “the smartphone market has been in decline for the last couple of quarters in the United States.”
CEO Tim Cook cited strong sales in China as a bright spot for Apple in the most recent quarter, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman agrees. Sales of iDevices in the United States are down, Apple claimed, and so is the industry as a whole, which is bad news given the impending release of a new iPhone.
Apple hasn’t been exaggerating with its admission. Both Canalys and Counterpoint, two market research firms, reported drops in smartphone shipments in the second quarter; Canalys recorded a loss of 11%, while Counterpoint reported a decline of 8%, with Samsung in the lead ahead of Apple. There are around six weeks before the release of the iPhone 15 series, which is likely to be unveiled on September 10 and go on sale on September 22. The rumor mill suggests that the most significant change will be smaller bezels. In addition, the Lightning connector is being replaced with USB-C, mostly as a result of forthcoming EU regulations, and the stainless-steel edges of the Pro versions are slated to be replaced with titanium, a lighter, more premium material.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is only the latest in a long line of incremental improvements to mobile devices. Lines of people waiting outside stores on launch day don’t seem like they’d be motivated by the possibility that the iPhone 15’s most notable feature is thinner bezels (by 0.7 mm).
However, Gurman acknowledges that the iPhone 15 will have certain advantages. Launching over the Christmas season, the series is not expected to have the same supply issues as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max because of production delays at Foxconn caused by the epidemic. In addition, reports indicate that the new phones won’t cost any more than their predecessors did in the United States. It is unclear, however, how much a price freeze will boost sales, given that many consumers are hesitant to make expensive luxury purchases at the moment.
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