As picked up by the Wall Street Journal, Katy Huberty, an analyst from financial services firm Morgan Stanley, has stated that the demand for Apple’s iPhone devices this quarter has actually exceeded expectations. She has added that the upcoming new iPhone model could supply an extra boost to iPhone demand. Everybody is expecting Apple to formally announce a smaller but powerful 4 inch iPhone (nicknamed the iPhone SE) on an event scheduled on March 21st of this year at the company’s headquarters located in the city of Cupertino in California.
The iPhone maker has had a good final quarter last year. The company has registered another record quarter in terms of iPhone sales in January early this year, with its profits and earnings per share figures managing to beat forecasts provided by Wall Street. But there has been talk that Apple’s iPhone sales may have already reached peak levels. Even though the tech giant shipped 74.8 million units of its iPhones during the quarter, this volume only represents an increase of less than 1 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. This has led to industry watchers predicting that for the first time ever, Apple’s iPhone sales will experience a slump during the current quarter.
But as explained by Huberty, the decrease in the current quarter may not be as bad as expected. Based on Morgan Stanley’s estimates, Apple should be able to ship 56.5 million units of its iPhone devices this quarter. That number easily exceeds estimates put forth by Wall Street. If Huberty is right, then it is business as usual for the iPhone maker.
Be that as it may, there is no denying that Apple (like other major phone makers) is facing a challenging year. The global smartphone market has seen its sales decline significantly, and although Apple earns most of its cash through the sales of its smartphones, it may have to look elsewhere now, especially to its App Store, iTunes Stores, and even Apple Pay, its mobile payment system. The good news is that revenues from those fronts have improved, posting a combined $16.8 billion for the fiscal year ended in September of last year -- up 13 percent compared to the previous year’s.
Still, it is not like Apple is just sitting idly by while its smartphone sales are plateauing. The tech giant has actually started introducing an iPhone Upgrade Program in September of last year. This program gives iOS users the opportunity to switch to a new iPhone model every year by paying $32 a month or more.
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