Apple reports iPhone sales slump – is the iPhone 8 to blame?

Apple has revealed a surprise drop in iPhone sales compared to a year ago, with upcoming handsets potentially to blame.

In its latest earnings call, Apple reported that it hold sold 50.8 million units in the first quarter of this year. That’s an impressive sum, undoubtedly – but it’s a slump from the 51.2 million units sold in the same period last year. Worse still, FactSet reported that analysts were, on average, estimating sales of 52.27 million units for the quarter.

The fall in units sold could be due to widespread anticipation for Apple’s long-rumoured 10th anniversary iPhone edition, expected to be called either the iPhone 7S or iPhone 8. The device is expected to introduce significant hardware upgrades, including an OLED screen. Unlike Samsung, Apple has been slow to switch to OLED displays, which are more power efficient and produce a wider colour gamut and dynamic range compared to traditional LCD panels.

There’s also a chance that Apple was negatively affected by the hype surrounding Samsung’s new Galaxy S8. It’s possible that some former iPhone customers may have held off buying a new Apple handset, instead opting to buy Samsung’s critically acclaimed smartphone upon its April release.

It wasn’t all bad news though; Apple reported a 4.6% rise in revenue to $52.9 – albeit down on the $53.02 billion forecast.

We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“We’ve seen great customer response to both models of the new iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and we’re thrilled with the strong momentum of our Services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter,” Cook continued.

The CEO added: “Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome attendees from around the world to our annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose.”

Along with falling iPhone sales, iPad sales were also down by 8.9 million units year-on-year – marking a consistent trend of declining sales. On the bright side, Mac sales rose from 4 million to 4.2 million year-on-year.

Apple is now forecasting revenue of between $43.5 and $45.5 billion for the current quarter.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Are you holding out for the next iPhone release, or would you rather just buy a new phone as soon as you need one? Let us know in the comments.