Apple announces its first quarter results on Tuesday, and analysts have been saying for a while that the company will likely report its first-ever decline in iPhone sales from the previous year.
Now the culprits are becoming clearer. The newest iPhone flagship models, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, are not selling as well now as the then-new models iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sold a year ago.
The two newest models comprised 61% of new iPhone sales in the first quarter, compared to a 78% share for the comparable models in the first quarter of last year, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners said on Monday based on surveys it conducted with consumers who bought new iPhones.
Wall Street expects Apple (AAPL) to have sold approximately 50 million iPhones in the first quarter, the company’s second fiscal quarter of 2016, which would represent an 18% decline from a year earlier.
That would mark the first time Apple ever sold fewer iPhones in a quarter than the year earlier since the product arrived on the scene in 2007. Back in the first three months of 2015, Apple sold over 61 million iPhones, which was a 40% increase from 2014.
Applying the CIRP survey results to Wall Street’s expected total sales, Apple would have sold only 30.5 million flagship models in the first quarter versus approximately 47.6 million a year ago.
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Reversing the iPhone decline has been one of the top concerns for investors, who are now looking ahead to the next iPhone upgrade, expected later this year. Shares of Apple are about unchanged so far this year, though the stock price is still down 21% from the all-time high of $134.54 reached almost a year ago.
CIRP did find some good news for Apple regarding iPad sales, which have been slipping for several years. The newest and most expensive models are selling well, with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro off to a strong start, CIRP said, capturing 20% of all iPad sales.
“The 12-inch iPad Pro appears to have succeeded in attracting a significant share of iPad sales,” said Mike Levin, co-founder of the firm said in a statement. “While iPad sales may be softening over time, the flagship models, the Pro, Air 2 and mini 4, are more dominant in the iPad sales mix.”