iPhone 15 series and iPhone 16 series shipments could decline significantly as the company faces various structural challenges, according to TF Securities International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The iPhone maker is contending with the rise of two new paradigms related to flagship smartphone design, while demand for its smartphones continues to decline in China, the analyst claims. Apple is expected to unveil its purported iPhone 16 lineup as the successors to its iPhone 15 series of smartphones in the second half of 2024.
Kuo states in a Medium post that his latest supply chain survey indicates the Cupertino firm has cut its shipments of key upstream semiconductor components to nearly 200 million units — a 15 percent drop compared to last year. The analyst claims that shipments of Apple’s iPhone 15 series will drop by 10 percent year on year (YoY) in H1 2024 while the iPhone 16 series will fall by up to 15 percent YoY in H2 2024.
According to Kuo, the reason behind Apple’s drop in shipments for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 16 is the various structural changes, including the growing popularity of foldable phones and the integration of generative AI (GenAI) features on high-end phones. The company is also said to be facing a decline in demand in China.
While China continues to crack down on the iPhone in China, Apple’s rival Huawei is making a comeback in the country. Meanwhile, Kuo says that foldable phones are becoming more popular among users who purchase flagship phones. Weekly shipments of the iPhone in China have dropped by 30 to 40 percent YoY in recent weeks, according to Kuo.
It is worth noting that the latest data from Canalys shows that Huawei returned to the top 4 brands in China in Q4 2023, but Apple shipments in the country rose 6 percent YoY as the company shipped 17.5 million units. Apple also had the highest market share in China in Q4 2023, according to data shared by Canalys. Meanwhile, an IDC report revealed that iPhone shipments in China dropped 2 percent in Q4 2023.
Apple has lowered its shipment forecast for the iPhone 15 in H1 2024, while Samsung has raised its shipment forecast by 5 percent to 10 percent due to the GenAI functions of the handset, according to the analyst. Samsung introduced new ‘Galaxy AI’ features on the Galaxy S24 series, while Apple is expected to bring some AI features with its iOS 18 update that is expected to arrive later this year.