As Apple prepares to unveil the next much-awaited iPhones tonight, expectations are high. Especially, since last few quarters, Apple has been registering a downfall in the sales of its new iPhones. From Q4 2018 to Q2 2019, Apple's newest-generation iPhones, which includes the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, accounted for 59 per cent of all iPhone shipments worldwide. When compared to the same period a year ago, the then-latest launched iPhones - iPhone 8, iPhone 8Plus and iPhone X - accounted for 68 per cent shipments, says Research firm Canalys.
"Tim Cook must strike a delicate balance," says Senior Analyst Ben Stanton. "The iPhone is still Apple's biggest revenue source. But Cook needs to envision Apple's path for the next 10 years, and take steps to set it on that route. It is clear now that his legacy will be the thriving Apple Services division, which includes Apple Music, iCloud and new products, such as Apple TV+. And Apple needs a large installed base of device users to grow these businesses, which makes older-generation iPhones, as well as refurbished and second-hand devices, critical. But this also presents a challenge to Apple, as older devices provide an increasingly compelling alternative to its latest expensive flagships."
Breaking down numbers further, of the three iPhones launched last year, the iPhone XR was the most affordable of the three and did significantly well as compared to the XS and XS Max. The iPhone XR, which was introduced in October 2018, shipped 47 million units between its launch and the end of June 2019. The iPhone XS and XS Max launched at the end of September 2018 shipped 20 million and 28 million units respectively between launch and the end of June 2019. Combined, Apple shipped, Apple shipped 87 millions of its newest-generation iPhones (iPhone XS, XS Max and XR) between Q4 2018 to Q2 2019, which was 26 per cent lower than the previous generation (iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X) achieved in the same period a year earlier. With the launch generation iPhones, the older ones witness a price-drop, which usually accounts for better sales. And Apple's older-generation iPhones shipments increased 12.4 per cent to 61 million units.
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Canalys also highlights that Apple shipped 36 million iPhones in Q2 2019, a 13% year-on-year fall. It was Apple's third consecutive quarter of shipment decline. Apple's top five countries in terms of iPhone shipments in the first half of 2019 were the US (35.5 per cent) the People's Republic of China (mainland) (16 per cent), Japan (9.5 per cent), the UK (4.9 per cent) and Canada (3.3 per cent).
Apple is expected to unveil three new iPhones tonight, rumoured to be named as iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Max powered by A13 price rose and the top two models likely to house a triple camera module. Following the past launch cycles, these new iPhones will go on sale in select markets starting early next week.