We’re all expecting Apple to deliver something spectacular for the iPhone’s tenth anniversary next year, but what comes after that? According to some analysts, it will be a “decade-long malaise” that will cause Apple to fall.
Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz believes iPhone sales will peak next year with what we believe will be the iPhone 8, with Apple predicted to sell 245 million units during fiscal 2018. That’s a rise of 9 percent over estimates for fiscal 2017.
[contextly_auto_sidebar] The device could finally put a stop to falling demand for Apple’s smartphone, then — but not for long. Uerkwitz warns this will be the iPhone’s “one last growth hurrah” before consumers fall away in pursuit of cheaper smartphones.
In turn, Apple’s revenue will fall, and there’s nothing up its sleeve that will prevent it — according to Uerkwitz. “The risks to the company have never been greater,” he told MarketWatch. “We believe Apple is about to embark on a decade-long malaise.”
James Cakmak of Monness Crespi Hardt shares similar beliefs. He points to the change in consumer behavior that is already lengthening smartphone upgrade cycles, and the threat from rivals like Amazon and Google in phones, content streaming, and augmented reality.
Cakmak also believes that Apple could be shooting itself in the foot by selling refurbished iPhone units, which could cannibalize sales of new devices and further decrease the average selling price of smartphones.
“Apple won’t have it easy again for a while, if ever,” Cakmak said.
There are also concerns about how Apple will fare under President-elect Donald Trump, who seems determined to force Apple into manufacturing iPhones and other products in the U.S., where increased labor costs would almost certainly lead to more expensive devices.
Not all analysts are worried, though. Many others, like Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity, believe Apple has what it takes to weather-the-storm. In fact, Walkley believes Apple can increase its share of the smartphone market despite the increased competition.
Others have faith in Apple’s efforts to carve out a place for its self in the smart car and augmented reality markets. Tim Cook has already promised that Apple is working on AR behind the scenes, but we’re yet to find out what that will bring.