Apple has reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for its second quarter, indicating that customers may have held back purchases in anticipation of the 10th-anniversary edition of the company's most important product later this year. David Pollard reports
Getting a new iPhone ... for Apple fans, it's a big deal. But there's little applause for the latest numbers. Sales down one per cent in the last quarter. Shares down two per cent in after-hours trade on the news. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "We always get disappointed when their numbers aren't absolutely blockbuster. And that's the key thing. I think the iPhone sales to a certain degree are worrying." It was worse for Apple's European suppliers. Dialog Semiconductors among the biggest fallers of the day - its shares down three per cent. ASML, AMS, and Imagination Technologies also hit. 50.76 million units sold in Q1 was below forecasts - if not entirely unexpected in other ways. Apple is approaching the tenth anniversary of its iconic phone later this year. Customers could be holding back. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "All of the rumours are that the next model will be a complete redesign and will look very different to the previous models which for the last few years have looked very similar ... There are a lot of people not getting the iPhone 7 and not paying for the iPhone 7 because they're waiting for that next installment." Overall, Apple revenues were still up. And with a 250 billion dollars plus pile of cash and investments, it's been returning more capital to shareholders and raising dividends. That might makes the wait for the iPhone 8 more bearable - at least, for investors.