Journalists are wetting themselves with the news that Apple’s sales have dropped 30% year on year. They think it’s the end of innovation at Apple, they think it’s that people are sick of upgrading or just don’t need new features.
It’s a couple of factors.
Firstly, Apple has said multiple times that their growth market (China) remains very soft due to a continued weakness in the market but the trend for smartphone sales are down across the board (6% drop). Huawei might be on a rise (50% increase) but Samsung, Xaomi are all down too.
Secondly, this is Apple’s plan. They know that the appetite for new phones is changing – they’ll still produce premium phones for a premium market but they are really taking notice of the inheritance market – where a premium phone is handed down to another family member. This is why ios12 focused on performance – bringing the iPhone 5s (and later) back to life and offering cheap battery replacements. The 5s was debuted in 2013. There’s no other vendor treating aged phones like this. Apple finally realises that services – such as Music, TV, Pay…are the real growth regions globally.
The downturn in sales for other vendors with their short term upgradability and poor quality hardware will hurt them in the long run. But their sales will look good because people are forced to buy new. Their profits on the other hand…
Apple profit for this quarter was $11 billion (down about 10%), Samsung was down 60% to $5 billion. And Samsung’s profits on their mobile business was considerably worse.
Journalists know that Apple stories are excellent clickbait. Apple fans always go to read and Android/Windows fans often go to gloat.