The same quarter last year received an enormous boost from the success of the newly-released iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which featured a new design and larger screen sizes. The upgrades in the most recent 6s models, however, were less pronounced. “There has been concern that consumers are less enthusiastic about the feature and performance gains with the latest iPhone 6s/6s Plus models,” UBS analysts said last week.
An iPhone 7 is expected to be released in the second half of this year, featuring more significant changes that analysts believe will kickstart sales again.
Apple’s position as the world’s biggest listed company, which it has held for more than two years, is under threat: its shares have fallen by 23pc since its summer peak, and its market capitalisation is just 10pc higher than Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Apple has launched a number of new products in the last year, including the Apple Watch, its music streaming service Apple Music, and a revamped Apple TV set-top box, but the dominance of the iPhone means that sales of the new products pale in comparison. The iPhone accounted for 63pc of revenues in Apple’s last quarter, against 56pc a year earlier and 52pc the year before that, with reliance on the popular smartphone rising as iPad sales fall.