What Softened Apple’s iPhone Shipments



iPhone shipments slip 1.0%

Apple (AAPL) shipped fewer iPhones in the 2017 holiday quarter than in the 2016 holiday quarter, missing Wall Street expectations. The company reported that it sold 77.3 million iPhone handsets in fiscal 1Q18 (its December quarter), and iPhone unit sales fell 1.0% year-over-year. On average, analysts expected Apple to sell 80 million iPhones.

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Apple had fewer business weeks in its latest quarter

With recent talks about weak demand for the flagship iPhone X and reports about Apple cutting its iPhone X production target for the current quarter, the issue of iPhone shipments slipping and missing expectations in 1Q18 could raise more questions than answers.

Although some investors may be concerned about Apple’s performance in the smartphone market, it’s important to note that the company had fewer days to do business in 1Q18 than in 1Q17. Whereas Apple’s 1Q18 had 13 weeks, its 1Q17 had 14 weeks, which may have contributed to the year-over-year decline in iPhone shipments.

Intense competition

Apple’s soft iPhone shipments in the latest quarter could also be due to intense competition in the global smartphone market. According to IDC Research, Chinese brands Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo are growing their share of the global smartphone market faster than Apple and Samsung (SSNLF). Microsoft (MSFT), BlackBerry (BB), and Nokia (NOK) are also growing their stakes in the smartphone vendor market.


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