With less than impressive demand for recent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products, things are not looking great for the near foreseeable future of the company. The company recently reported selling 74.8 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter, ending December 26. These sales included both iPhone 6S and 6S Plus products, and portray a 0.4% growth in shipments. This amount is the lowest ever for the company since the very first iPhone launch in 2007.
Wall Street analysts attempt to explain this slowdown with reasoning that the company may not have another ground-breaking product in its future capable of replacing the iPhone.
KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi-Kuo has estimated shipments for the iPhone to be between 85 million and 95 million for the first half of 2016. Subsequently, the analyst predicts shipments of 105 million to 115 million for the latter half of the year. Kuo notes that in regards to these estimates, he believes sales will most likely fall on the shorter end of the spectrum, dropping below 200 million. This number is quite underwhelming considering Apple’s 2015 iPhone shipments, which totaled to 232 million iPhones.
The analyst’s reasoning behind his not-so high expectations for shipments resonate with his belief that replacement demand for larger displays quickly coming to a decline. Further, the analyst claims the new iPhone SE will not appeal to a substantial amount of consumers, due to fact that the product does not exhibit a new form factor.
With this reasoning towards the iPhone SE, expectations should be shifted to a more positive stance regarding the iPhone 7, right? Not exactly. Kuo claims the iPhone 7, which is expected to include a dual-camera iSight array, will only include this feature in the “Plus” model. Thereby, the initial 4.7-inch model will not contain the advanced camera.
To deteriorate the value of the new camera feature further, the analyst notes that a number of Apple’s competitors have plans to launch dual-camera features as well. To make matters worse, these competitor products are expected to beat Apple’s “iPhone 7 Plus” market.
Apple’s latest earnings report posted September 30, showed quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.12 billion. Relative to the previous year, these earnings are less than impressive as the company earned revenue of $58.01 billion and a net profit of $13.57 billion.
According to TipRanks, based on 38 analysts offering recommendations for AAPL in the last 3 months, the overall consensus, contrary to Kuo’s indications is a Strong Buy. The average price target for the stock is currently at $113.18 with a 21% upside.