Forecasts that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will sell 50 million iPhones in the March quarter sent its stock lower. Some analysts believe that if iPhone sales are not closer to 60 million for the period, Apple has a severe problem. There is another side to the argument.
The iPhone 6 family is getting old. In the most recent quarter, Apple sold 48 million iPhones. Among the anxieties about Apple’s near-term prospects is that people who are going to buy members of the iPhone 6 family already have. That includes people won over from ownership of rival products, led by Samsung. And many people who already own an iPhone might not upgrade to the newest version. What may offset these problems, at least partially, are sales in Apple’s Greater China region. Sales there have increased by almost triple digits year over year.
Among the powerful cases that Apple has reached a difficult period is that the company has nothing to balance a slowdown in iPhone sales. Mac sales continue to be extremely modest compared to rivals. The iPad has never lived up to its potential. New products, which include foremost Apple’s television products, have done poorly.
If the iPhone 7 launches well after the March quarter, the quarter could be disappointing. However, investors who continue to be optimistic about Apple’s prospects already know the iPhone upgrade cycle comes around about once a year. When that happens, iPhone sales will soar again.