Just prior to Apple launching the iPhone 6s, one naysayer analyst is attempting to poke a stick in Apple's never ending balloon ride. According to TrendForce, Apple won't be able to sustain their double digit iPhone growth in 2016. And why is that? According to the analyst, other smartphones from Samsung, Sony and Huawei have better specifications compared to the iPhone 6s that won't have a design change this year. With Apple having placed massive orders for the iPhone 6s in July and suppliers confirming this days ago, I highly doubt if ForceTrend's forecast stands a chance of ever seeing the light of day.
According to TrendForce's report, "the 2016 global smartphone shipments will be at 1.34 billion units, showing just a 5.8% annual growth as well as a consecutive decline from the estimated 8.3% annual growth of this year. According to TrendForce's smartphone analyst Avril Wu, 2015 marks the end of the smartphone boom that began with the launch of the iPhone in 2007.
Wu noted that "The industry from this year on will not be able to deliver the same impressive results of the past years, when shipment increases were upwards of 30%. The smartphone growth trend is coming to a plateau period."
Wu further noted that "The sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus stayed hot throughout the first half of 2015, unaffected by seasonality influences. As a result, Apple will see its annual iPhone shipment growth close to 16% this year, totaling 223 million units. However, the next iPhone (also referred to as iPhone 6S) focuses only on hardware upgrades and is similar to the current iPhone models in appearance.
These competing devices and the next iPhone's lack of fresh looks will have a tangible impact on iPhone sales next year. In sum, Apple is also moving into a plateau growth period, and TrendForce expects the vendor to see its first ever single-digit iPhone shipment growth in 2016 at about 7.5%."
So, is Apple's iPhone revolution really coming to an end?
That's highly doubtful. Beyond the rumors of increased iPhone 6s orders, Apple's CEO Tim Cook commented on this very subject during their Financial Conference Call in July. Cook noted that Apple had another stellar quarter for iPhone sales establishing a new June Quarter record. Firstly, Apple's iPhone unit sales grew 35% which is almost 3X the rate of growth of the smartphone market overall and gained share in all of their geographic segments.
Secondly, Apple's iPhone revenue grew even more strongly, up 59%. The strong iPhone results were broad based in both developed and emerging markets and they experienced the highest switcher rate in Android than they ever measured.
And thirdly, Cook noted in a Q&A segment that 73% of current iPhone users have yet to upgrade to the iPhone 6 and so there's tremendous growth potential for the iPhone 6 ahead.
Mr. Wu's analysis is trying to put Apple in a tradition smartphone box instead of understanding that Apple, the company who originally ignited the smartphone revolution in earnest, is the only one standing that still has fiery growth and a little something called 'stunning profits.' Maybe Wu just didn't get the memo.