It's generally understood that Apple's future rests in making sure its premium-priced products keep, or regain, their status as a must-have purchase for a younger generation in the U.S. and internationally. It's equally understood that Apple's iPhone 6 sales smashed all previous records for Apple in the 2014-2015 timeline and so it's understandable that they might have had a slight slowdown in sales momentum with their follow-up model the iPhone 6s. But once rumors start chipping away at Apple with doom and gloom, everyone wants in with their crystal ball. The latest to take a stab at Apple is Chegg, a company based in Santa Clara, California that specializes in online textbook rentals, homework help and online tutoring, who is claiming that a new study of theirs for USA Today points to Apple beginning to lose its cool factor with students regarding devices.
The first poll asked the question: Who has the coolest device? The survey revealed that out of the small 567 college student pool participating in the study, 67% said that the coolest devices were Android based. Yet the second question posed was "Do you prefer Apple or Android? And the answer was flipped, with Apple being at the top with 60% and Android at 40%. Chegg noted that 67% of the students acknowledge that Android is 'gaining ground' on Apple in 'cooler' new features. What those 'cooler' features were exactly was conveniently absent from the report.
The USA Today report further noted that "Heightened expectations of iPhone sales, particularly the runaway success of iPhone 6, have masked cracks in a product lineup that either is running out of steam (two years of declining iPad sales) or being met with indifference (so-so reaction to Apple Music and Apple Watch), say analysts. The iPhone juggernaut product line makes up two-thirds of Apple's revenue.
The pullback in its stock is a shock after a decade-long rise that made Apple investors nearly 25 times richer and Apple the biggest stock in the U.S. stock market.
Apple is in a "turbulent" period, says Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital: "It's a nerve-wracking transition for Apple and investors" until the expected big sales from iPhone 7.
Frank Catalano, a veteran tech analyst and former marketing consultant added that "Apple's brand is being nibbled to death by many ducks." USA Today's report takes a number of other stabs at Apple and you could read all about it here.
Of course Apple is in its quite period and so we won't be hearing from Apple's executive team about the state of iPhone 6s sales and market conditions until next week during their January 26 financial conference call that you could follow along with live here at 2:00 p.m. PT/ 5:00 p.m. ET.