When Apple announces its second quarter earnings tomorrow at the end of the business day, the iPhone’s magnificent growth story will officially be coming to an end. During the company’s last earnings call in January, CEO Tim Cook had warned shareholders of the imminent decline, which would be the first ever since the iPhone’s release in 2007.
The question that remains is how significant the drop will actually be. Analysts are expecting iPhone sales to come in at around 51 million units, which would be a 17 percent decline compared to last year’s March quarter. Looking at the full calendar year 2016, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities anticipates a decline of similar dimensions. He expects Apple to sell between 190 and 205 million iPhones this year, which would translate to a decline between 12 and 18 percent.
Despite the muted outlook for 2016, Kuo remains positive about the iPhone in the longer term. He expects iPhone sales to bounce back strongly in 2017, when, according to his predictions, Apple will release a significantly re-designed version of the popular smartphone.