iPhone sales finally show signs of life in China

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China iPhone sales
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

The latest round of iPhone price cuts on China have accomplished their goal, according to an analyst with Wedbush. Demand for Apple handsets has increased in that country.

That’s very good news for the company, as CEO TIm Cook said early this year that slow sales in China were the entire reason Apple saw a revenue decease at the end of 2018.

Did Apple reverse its revenue slide? We’ll know April 30.

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apple park
The end of 2018 went badly for Apple. We’ll know soon how it’s doing in 2019.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

We’ll soon know if Apple made progress drumming up more demand for the latest iPhones in Asia. Weak demand in China caused a surprising year-over-year drop in Apple’s total revenue during the last quarter of 2018.

CEO Tim Cook and co. have just scheduled an earning call with investors for April 30. We’ll find out then if the company managed to improve its situation during the first three months of 2019.

iPhone SE 2 could be the savior Apple needs [Opinion]

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iPhone SE
Apple desperately needs an updated iPhone SE.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

iPhone sales are down, especially in emerging markets. The reason is simple: Apple’s devices cost too darn much. And the solution is equally simple: Apple must make a new budget model. In short, it needs a successor to the iPhone SE to ensure short-term profits as well as long-term viability.

This device has to have a low, low price. Even if that means a phone so bare-bones that most Americans turn up their noses at it.

Americans are far more interested in buying iPhone than Android

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iPhone XR screen bezels
More U.S. consumers are interested in Apple devices like these than Android.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Americans about to purchase a handset are far more interested in an iPhone than in devices running the rival Android OS, according to a survey done by an industry analysis firm.

But the news isn’t all good for Apple. The same survey found only moderate interest in the company’s rumored streaming video service.

Apple’s iPhone sales problem isn’t limited to China

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iPhone sales
Critics say Apple needs to build more affordable iPhones. The XR is a start.
Photo: Apple

China is not the only part of the world where Apple’s iPhone is losing market share to hard-charging Chinese brands.

Sales of the iPhone are falling off in Europe and Thailand, the second-biggest smartphone market in Southeast Asia, where shipments fell by more than 50 percent.

Upgrade rate slows by 33 percent as we hold onto our iPhones ever longer

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iPhone 6s
With people keeping their phones so long, a typical device getting replaced these days is the iPhone 6s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The days when people bought a new iPhone every two years are over, according to an industry analyst. In fact, many people are holding on to their handsets for twice that long.

That’s bad news for Apple’s bottom line, as faster upgrades mean more profits.

Samsung holiday sales beat iPhone for first time in years

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Samsung Galaxy S9
It seems more people wanted to gift Galaxy phones than iPhones during the holidays.
Photo: Samsung

Apple’s last quarter was so bad the company broke its long-running streak of outselling Samsung during the holiday gift season.

Going back for several years, the maker of the Galaxy line of Android handsets always outsold Apple during the first three quarters, and in total sales for the whole year, but iPhone would came out on top in Q4. Not last quarter.

Apple won’t say how many iPhones it sold, but here’s a good guess

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
iPhone sales last quarter were down considerably year-over-year. But the company’s other products did quite well.
Photo: Apple

Not included in the Q4 financial results Apple just announced was the number of iPhone units sold. An analyst firm quickly filled in the gap, estimating that 65.9 million iOS handsets shipped in the last quarter of 2018, down significantly.

This is the first quarterly earnings announcement in which Apple didn’t reveal how many iPhone, Mac, and iPad units it had sold.

Why this week’s Apple earnings report is the most important in years

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Earnings call
Tim Cook and Luca Maestri will reveal Apple's Q1 earnings on February 1.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When Apple unveils its earnings report for last year’s crucial holiday quarter, the entire world will be watching for signs of the company’s long-rumored impending doom.

Several factors will make Tuesday’s Q1 2019 earnings call Apple’s most important in years. Depending on how it goes, it could have an enormous impact on the company’s stock’s performance in 2019 and beyond.

Respected analyst says everyone’s too pessimistic about Apple

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
A reliable analyst says 2019 iPhone sales won‘t be great but won‘t be disasterous either.
Photo: Apple

Ming-Chi Kuo, a tech analyst with a decent record for accuracy, predicts Apple will sell more iPhones in 2019 than many other analysts are anticipating.

To be clear, Kuo isn’t predicting a banner year for iPhone sales. Just not a terrible one.