New iPhone sales unlikely to outdo iPhone 6, 6 Plus, claims analyst

Apple's upcoming iPhone 6s could have a tough time beating the sales records set by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, claims a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

Apple's upcoming iPhone 6s could have a tough time beating the sales records set by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, claims a report by John Butler, senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

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Bloomberg Intelligence

According to Butler, features like Force Touch, an upgraded processor and a better camera, "represent a modest upgrade to the 6 and 6 Plus, suggesting that this year's product refresh will pale in comparison to last year's iPhone 6 upgrade. Apple will face tough sales comparisons in the next year, given the strength of the last upgrade cycle, a challenge that may prove too difficult to overcome."

The strong growth that stemmed from the launch of the large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sets, according to the report, a "difficult year-ago comparisons for Apple, which is forecast by IDC to ship 232.7 million iPhones in fiscal 2016 vs. 233.8 million in 2015. If this forecast proves accurate, it would mark the first ever year-over-year decline in iPhone shipments."

There is, however, a possible silver lining. The report points out that according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, as of fiscal 3Q, only 27 percent of iPhone users had upgraded to the iPhone 6, which leaves 73 percent still on older-generation devices, and ripe for upgrades.

Also, the reintroduction of a 4-inch iPhone could, assuming its specs are comparable to other models, might "resonate well with users who prefer smaller phones."

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