KGI – which has an excellent track record – has predicted a strong possibility of either zero or negative growth of iPhone sales in Q4 2015. The investment note cited by Taiwanese site Apple Daily (via GforGames) forecasts that Apple will sell between 65M and 75M iPhones, compared to 74.5M in the same quarter last year.
We predict iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S could be the first S-series models to see flat or lower shipments versus their predecessors.
KGI bases its pessimistic prediction on two factors. First, the weak state of the Chinese economy. Second, the very same argument I made in my opinion piece yesterday: that the headline feature of the iPhone 6S, Force Touch, doesn’t seem likely to wow customers …
No killer application created by Force Touch as yet. Force Touch has already been used in Apple Watch and MacBook without prompting strongly positive market feedback. We are, therefore, not certain whether it can provide sufficient appeal to shore up shipments momentum of the new iPhone models to be launched this year.
This echoes what I wrote yesterday:
For the last couple of S models, Apple has offered pretty convincing reasons to buy: the 4S gave us Siri, and the 5s introduced Touch ID – both appealing features that were easy for non-tech customers to understand.
[But Force Touch isn’t], I think, for the average user. ‘Will make it easier to use iOS’ isn’t much of a sell when viewed alongside ‘Talk to your iPhone’ and ‘Unlock your iPhone with your fingerprint.’
The KGI note also says that Apple recently reduced its orders for the iPhone 6S – though by just 1%, so not in itself the most persuasive of evidence.
It does, of course, remain possible that Force Touch will prove more appealing once people have tried it – or seen it demonstrated by friends. But as Mark Gurman yesterday exclusively revealed, it will primarily be used as a shortcut to existing features rather than enabling new functionality. We first reported that Force Touch would be coming to the new iPhone back in May.