Updated 09:33 AM EDT, Wed, Apr 21, 2021

Apple Forecast First Sales Drop Since 2003: Is This the Beginning of the End?

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It seems that Apple Inc is running into a bit of trouble. After the delay in its rumored "Project Titan," it looks like the company is having more trouble, as its projected sales for the upcoming quarter have plummeted.

According to Bloomberg Business, this sales decline, which is the first in more than a decade, adds enough evidence that the market for smartphones is becoming more and more saturated. China isn't helping matters either.

The Cupertino-based company said that the projected revenue in the first three months of the year will be around $50 to $53 billion. This is the first big drop below analyst estimates, which was around $55.5 billion. This also comes just after the holiday quarter that was nothing short of dismal, as sales and shipments fell short of projections, concerning some that Apple is reaching its limits in iPhone growth.

It's not just the iPhone, either. 9 to 5 Mac noted that six years after the release of the iPad, it found its peak two years ago and stayed there. However, Apple saw a steady decline in sales from year to year, despite the wide range of display size and slight improvements in every generation model the company has showcased over the years.

Of course, Apple still remains to be profitable, with a record $18.4 billion in net income. However, it no longer benefits so much due to the rapid sales of smartphones around the world.

It is not only Apple that is struggling in the mobile phone business, though. Samsung Electronics, its biggest rival, also reported weaker sales than expected. Mac Rumors reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook remains positive. This is because 60% of the customers who owned an iPhone prior to their latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are yet to upgrade. This means that sales could still look up, if not for the iPhone 6, then for the newer models instead -- likely the iPhone 7 that is expected to be released in September.

To make up for the weak smartphone revenue, Cook has expanded their market in China and released new products such as the Apple Watch to increase business sales. However, their dependence on the iPhone has made it vulnerable.

Abhey Lamba of Mizuho Securities USA said about the company, "They have other products, and have the potential to launch other products, but the hole left from an iPhone slowdown is too big to fill. Its future is whatever is happening in the smartphone space."

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