It appears as though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) went through a relatively successful Christmas quarter. Reports claim that the holiday period saw the iPhone take up a large portion of overall smartphone activations. The tech company is also expected to dial down its iPhone production for the first quarter of 2017.
Talks are surging about Apple Inc.’s upcoming, 10th anniversary iPhone. If the rumors and analyst comments are anything to go by, then fans can anticipate a revolutionary gadget this year. On the investment side of things, concerns about the future of Apple Inc.’s dropping iPhone sales, overseas assets and the shifting political landscape will see business markets fixed on the company’s developments.
Apple dials down Q1 iPhone production
A report released this week claims Apple plans to kill its iPhone production by 10 percent for first three months of 2017. The news follows the publication of market research by Flurry — a Yahoo-owned company. Flurry’s findings suggest that Apple handsets raked in a great number in sales from the 19th to the 25th of December. The iPhone and iPad alone accounted for 44 per cent of all handset activation during that period. According to Flurry, Apple came out on top of leading handset rivals, including Samsung.
The previous year’s results were very similar to the recent Flurry report. Back then, Samsung only made up 19.1 per cent of all handset activations while Apple accounted for nearly 50 per cent.
The reduction in iPhone production is nothing new for Apple. The makers of the iPhone made a similar decision back in January 2016. However, the cut in iPhone production was 20 per cent larger. Apple had reduced the gadget’s production by 30 per cent at the start of last year.
The year of the iPhone 8
Back in September, when Apple Inc. revealed its latest iPhone, the device left many iFans unsure if they liked it or not. Although there is a great number of people who like the product, it pulls in reviews describing it as an unimpressive upgrade with very little deviation from the iPhopne 6S. In part, this diverts a lot of attention to this year’s i-device. Right now, the iPhone 8 promises to be a lot more appealing than it 2016 sibling.
Apple is also expected to finally be making the jump to OLED screens this year. The technology has long been used on premium handsets with Apple holding back on it. KGI Securities claims the device will come in three versions this Fall, with the two conventional iPhones equipped with LCD screen and another flaunting an OLED display.
OLED offers a few distinct advantages over LED and LCD. The display tech offers better visuals. Light colors are visibly brighter while darker shades gain more depth. It allows for better viewing angles too. OLED is a lot more flexible which contributes to durability. OLED displays are less likely to scratch and crack. Faster responses can be derived from the screen tech.
The biggest reason for Apple holding back on these innovations is cost. The company is looking at reduced profits for the foreseeable future as iPhone sales continue to dwindle. This year saw the company’s first dip in revenue since 2001. Adding to the cost of manufacturing won’t ideally boost profits unless these enhances bring the iPhone back to its former craze. OLED screens are the viewed as better, but they cost more. The same is true for glass-encased devices. Right now, Tim Cook and his company are faced with lowering profits or letting rivals run away with the market
“We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit,” said Tai Jeng-wu, president at Sharp. However, “if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity.”
The bulk of the reports covering the 2017 iPhone are based on rumor and expert commentary. The company itself has had very little to say about the product. Other rumors include and iris scanner and the home button being incorporated into the screen. However, only next fall will reveal how far predictions were from the truth. Apple Inc. Has repeatedly proven that it knows its own business better than expect speculators.
No iPhone 7S
The traditional titling trend that Apple uses for its iPhones is expected to take a minor skip next year. Fans of the company are likely expecting Apple to release an iPhone 7S in 2017. Many reports claim this won’t be the case in 2017. Considering the features and significance of this year’s gadget, it is thought that Apple might skip the traditional S upgrade and move straight to iPhone 8.
“So there’s a good chance that Apple may decide to skip directly to the next full number, naming the 2017 iPhone the iPhone 8.” reports KGI Securities.
2017 will mark a decade of iPhone production and only a device fitting of such title will do. Bearing this, an S upgrade might be too mild a title for what will be the Cupertino giant’s 10th anniversary iPhone. The name iPhone 8 has not be confirmed by the company, but experts believe it to be the most “logical” choice considering the weight of the 2017 iPhone.
Glass iPhone 8
Apple has not encased its iPhones in glass since the iPhone 4S half a decade ago. The company is rumored to be giving the concept another go. How Apple plans to do this without significantly effecting the weight and durability of the iPhone is a concern for some. However, the use of innovative glass, like Gorilla Glass, is coming to the fore and especially seen on more premium handsets. Experts say a glass iPhone could be a sure way to regather the device’s lost appeal while staying in-line with the firm’s obsession with making its products slimmer and lighter.
The glass would also enhance the device’s chargeability. Reports highlight that glass, unlike plastic or metal, can enable wireless charging at greater speeds “with minimum disruption from frequency interface.”
Apple ventures deeper into Asian markets
Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier stated he is confident of transforming India into the next China for his company. Despite his excitement, there is still quite a lot of headroom to grow. The Cupertino-based firm is currently in talks with the Indian government to manufacture its products in the country. A senior Indian government official with direct knowledge of the matter was quoted by Business Standard as saying, “Apple wants to emulate its China model in India. The company wants financial incentives, which the concerned government departments are looking into.”
Apple already settling in India
Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) manufacturer Foxconn already has a well-established smartphone building facility in Andhra Pradesh. It holds a capacity of 1 million handsets per month. Dispite that, the firm is still a week player in the region. With soaring demand from domestic and foreign players, Faxconn is thinking about ramping up its operations in different parts of India.
In May this year, Foxconn announced it is interested in a 1,200-acre area of land in Maharashtra after looking at a few other Indian states. A report from 9to5mac.com reveals, The assembly factory built on the land will focus solely on iPhone manufacturing. It will cost about $10 billion as well. Making the manufacturing plot operational should take about 18 months from the time the deal is inked. There is also a number of several states in India which can offer the logistics demanded in a large-scale operation like building iPhones. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two vibrant examples. Foxconn’s Head of India, Josh Foulger clears the air surrounding India’s logistical issues.
“India, from a manufacturing standpoint, has a logistic advantage, not just for India but for the Middle East and Africa. The ASP of products is very similar,” Foulger reports. “If you look at making India a manufacturing destination for 800 million phones, it looks very attractive. India’s cost is competitive. It takes time but if managed well, it can bring results.”