Apple analyst thinks 2016 is the year iPhone sales finally crash


iPhone 6s 3d
Will next year be the year iPhone sales start to decline?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iPhone business may have been stronger than ever in 2015, but — never fear — the Apple doom predictors are never far away.

In this case, the doom report comes from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty who predicts that iPhone sales will drop for the first time ever in 2016.

In particular, she thinks iPhone sales will decline by nearly 6 percent in the 2016 financial year, or 2.9 percent in the 2016 calendar year.

Given that Apple has never had negative sales growth for the iPhone, it’s certainly a bold statement to suggest that it will the year after smashing all previous records — but Huberty think that, “higher prices in international markets (ex-China) and maturing smartphone penetration in developed markets weighs on upgrades and new user growth.”

To be fair to Huberty, she’s not the only analyst who thinks this way. Back in August, Pacific Crest argued that current iPhone sales are “unrepeatable” and investors must be ready for a drop-off sometime in 2016. Respected Apple analyst KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo also thinks we’ll see a year-on-year iPhone sales decline for this year’s holiday season.

Morgan Stanley doesn’t go as far as predicting an Apple collapse, however. It thinks that Apple revenue will grow 2 percent in the 2016 financial year, with the Apple Watch and Apple TV as, “important barometers of the company’s innovation capabilities under the leadership of Tim Cook.”

Do you think iPhone sales will decline next year? While there’s no way the company can continue expanding its iPhone business indefinitely, I think that the astonishing success of the iPhone 6s, a major new iPhone launch in 2016, promising new markets like India, and Apple’s iPhone upgrade program means next year should be another one to remember.

Via: Business Insider

  • Well what goes up must eventually come down. I just feel like 2016 is too soon.

  • I’d imagine that when the first year drop off comes to be on a S cycle, and not a new model year.

  • Mark Trites

    Windows phone 12 Pro running windows phone version with octocore snapdragon processor at 8 ghz, 16 gigs of ram, and 256 storage, will make a storming comeback and kill iphone sales in one fell swoop!!!

    • Garrett Fahey

      I’m waiting for a windows phone with detachable keyboard. A real two in one, or three in one. something that replace my desktop and day to day tablet.

    • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

      Wake up! You’re just having a dream. Windows Phone is still very weak in global market share. The Windows Phone platform is about as wanted as a person wanting an extra pinkie finger.

      • BoltmanLives

        My $29 Lumia 640 has all the features people typically want and is awesome.

        30x 640 for ONE iphone

      • c_hack

        Except for apps, a good screen, quality construction, resale value, customer support, future upgrades, etc.. Otherwise its perfect.

      • BoltmanLives

        Resale ?I could make money they are $59 now LOL try to do that with iPhone.

        Customer support..for what? It works.
        Future upgrades? It got 10 from 8.1
        Screen quality ? 720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density) ClearBlack IPS
        Construction? Its great! Does not bend.

        LOL try again fanboi (I’ll warn you you are intellectually outmatched)

      • igorsky

        Just entered your post into Google Translate and got the following result:

        “I can’t afford an iPhone so I’m going to spend every chance I get bashing it so that I can feel good about myself.”

      • BoltmanLives

        I can easily afford iPhone …it sucks so I avoid it. Its a piece of overpriced garbage!
        Playschool icons..One app at a time BS

        My $29 Lumia takes on par or better pictures.

        Spending $650-1000 paid off every 24 stupid

  • Joe Madzelan

    Analysts and meteorologists, two professions where you can be expected to be wrong most of the time and no one cares. Analysts are basically Op-Ed writers. They are generally biased, take information out of context, or generally mis-apply data because they do not have a good understanding of the topic they are talking about. Ten bucks says she has an Android phone in her purse…

    • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

      You can’t entirely blame the analysts. These analysts know Apple shareholders are so feeble-minded they’ll dump their stock on the same repeated rumors and speculation every couple of weeks. Those stupid shareholders never seem to wise up to the analyst’s mind games.

  • Garrett Fahey

    Katy is typically bullish on AAPL, and I believe her price target remains well above the current price (somewhere around $150). That said, she seemed to miss wildly on the Apple Watch, predicting somewhere around 30-40 sold in year one. I wouldn’t be shocked if sales leveled off or dipped a little.

  • BoltmanLives

    IPhone is now NINE year old tech, Everything APPL has relies on this ancient tech. Apple failed to replace iPhone in nine years. Fatal decision.

    Look for Microsoft to be the new Apple

    • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

      What you’re saying about the iPhone could have easily been said about Windows OS after Windows XP was introduced. There’s absolutely nothing all that different between Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. They’re all variations on the same theme. I’m not saying that’s bad but that’s the way most products and companies operate. I agree Apple is foolish to only rely on one product for revenue when it had the money to grow its business in a half-dozen ways not hardware-related.

      • BoltmanLives

        Not really as MS always had the Server side and the Xbox plus phones and cloud even just a few years after XP.

        All the previous versions of Windows from OS/2 SP3…to 1.0 to 8.1 were key steps in getting to Windows as a Service (10)…it took a lot of effort and they were not simply copies of one another , major overhauls on Kernel (XP) Security/Wireless
        /IPv6 (VIsta) Streamline/Fix UI (7) Get used to touch/streamline/Store (8) Fix that UI (8.1)….. Now we have the finished product 10.

        iPhone IS like you say “Not much difference” year to goal other than max margins.

        Microsoft has been planning 10 for 30 years!!! They were talking NT-Everywhere back in 1995…they kept their eye on the prize and did it.

      • BoltmanLives

        Keep removing my post not sure why? So I will post quote without revealing the source… You can Google the quote and read the article yourself.


        “Within a year, Microsoft had lost more than half its value, never to return to its soaring heights of the past. The stock options—once the golden key to untold wealth—were underwater.”

        Substitute: Apple for Microsoft

        The article is a great allegory for what will happen to Apple.

    • Just the iPhone itself makes more money than ALL of Microsoft, you know that right?

      • BoltmanLives

        Its Nine years old..the world is moving on.

        You really thing a $1000 6 ” slab is the future?
        Microsoft is on to the next, and the next and the next thing.

        Apples profits have no effect on that, Lets just say Appl will need that cash soon.

        BTW Microsoft used to be in the same position as Appl and we all know what happened. Apple is in for a very rough ride.

  • nwcs

    It’ll happen eventually. All markets mature and go into a steady flow into decline. The big random element is whether something innovative happens. Not the incremental stuff but something truly innovative to effectively start the demand curve over again.

    If I were to guess I’d imagine it might be in the photography area given the patents. Perhaps larger sensor, zoom, better optics, better image processing, global readout of sensor, 5 axis stabilization but all ergonomic and photographically sound. Or perhaps a new display concept with wider dynamic range and glare elimination plus something like eInk for always-on info on the rear of the device.

  • c_hack

    The only sure thing for 2016 is that analysts will continue to predict the demise of the iPhone. Like they do every year. Oh, and they will also continue to be meatheads.

  • I think it’ll happen by 2019. Next year is the “big change” year (not an S model) with the iPhone 7, and with another record year in 2015 with an incremental upgrade (iPhone 6s), it’s not slowing down just yet.
    2017, iPhone 7s – still too soon for a decline.
    2018, iPhone 8.
    2019, first ever decline in sales with the iPhone 8s.

  • Hildebrand

    Apple is comfortably at the high end of the market, while Android is doing the hard work of converting dumb phone users to smart phone users, preparing them for the Apple experience they will never leave again.

  • Wishfull negative thinking ! I just walked down a European street. Saw 10 apple laptops being used by shop owners just hovering around all brand new MacBooks. I spent 15 minutes in my local cafe and saw another 50 macs plus numerous iPhone 6s 6s plus ! I walk down the road and I hear Apple ringsignal after ringsignal. Seriously to say that Apple is hitting the bottom is as naive as a democrat declaring that there is no problem with Latino criminals at the border!

    Apple is killing it and will soon pass 1 trillion dollar mark.

    Everyone I speak to is either having an iPhone or will buy one. The second hand market is sick sick apples sell in minutes and are also worth the most ! There is always a shortage, even buying an old MacBook is a rare event !

  • digitaldumdum

    “Apple analyst thinks 2016 is the year iPhone sales finally crash”

    Since day one of Apple going public (more than 35 years ago), the naysayers have been lining up to say their nays, take their jabs and make predictions, often based on spurious “facts”, barely-relevant data and even personal prejudices. Saying it’s so has rarely made it so. Ah, but such is the job of the ANALyst. In any case, even if iPhone sales decline (unlikely), it certainly won’t be because they don’t have the highest rate of adoption of all other cell phones. Quite the contrary. For when much of the world who want and can purchase iPhones already have one, one would •expect• a decline. To expect sales to always beat ANALysts expectations is ridiculous. And these often disconnected number crunchers would like to think otherwise, stellar iPhone sales are not crucial to Apple’s continued success. Simply put, it just means people may not buy iPhone as often as before, and that’s… okay.

  • coldspring22 .

    what a nutty website. Analyst said iphone sale might drop 2% and this site screams CRASH!! Keep writing more nonsense!