Leading Apple analyst Mingchi Kuo has tempered expectations for the upcoming iPhone 15 lineup, predicting demand will fall below current iPhone models. While details on the new iPhones are scarce, limited changes from the iPhone 14 and challenging economic conditions may dampen sales.
iPhone 15 Expected to Offer Minor Improvements Over iPhone 14
In his latest research note, Kuo did not even briefly examine the expected iPhone 15 models. His demand predictions seem muted overall, a worrying sign for Apple.
Kuo believes demand for the next-generation iPhones will come in lower than current iPhone 14, 14 Plus, Pro and Pro Max variants. This would negatively impact Apple and its supply chain, which relies on strong second half sales.
Several factors may hamper purchases. First is likely higher pricing due to increased production costs than existing models with advanced cameras and titanium frames. The uncertain economic environment and inflation could also deter buyers.
Additionally, the incremental differences between current and next-gen iPhones may be too slight for many. Without significant enhancements, upgrading seems hard to justify for most consumers.
Modest Improvements Over iPhone 14 Lineup
Based on current intel, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus should completely ditch the notch in favour of a new dynamic island. They are also expected to feature improved photography capabilities and Apple’s A16 processor.
The devices will likely offer a USB-C port, as with the Pro and Pro Max models. Thinner bezels, courtesy of new low-injection compression molding tech and a titanium frame, are also probable. They could also be easier to repair and boast the 3nm A17 bionic chip.
But these amount to modest, predictable improvements over the iPhone 14 series. For many buyers, the changes may not compel an upgrade, especially at higher price points.
Economic Outlook Adds Uncertainty
Beyond modest hardware upgrades, broader economic challenges could make consumers wary of splurging on flashy new iPhones. Despite Apple’s premium brand strength, inflation and recession fears may lead to belt-tightening.
If Kuo’s projections prove accurate, it will interrupt several years of strong growth for Apple’s critical iPhone business. The company may need to explore aggressive pricing, financing offers, or bundle deals to spur demand.
But for now, the celebrated iPhone 15 lineup looks unlikely to drive major sales growth. Apple will need its rumoured AR headset, satellite connectivity, and other innovations to re-accelerate growth in 2023 and beyond.