Yesterday Apple announced its fiscal 2014 first quarter earnings results. The company slightly missed Wall Street’s expectations of iPhone unit sales, reporting 51 million units sold during the past quarter as opposed to expectations of 55 million. Despite the fact that this translates into a record quarter for the company, analysts are now raising questions about continued slow growth of the iPhone. One analyst in particular, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, believes that iPhone sales growth will remain flat during this quarter, as opposed to the same time last year, resulting in almost zero growth year-over-year.
Munster predicts that Apple will only be able to sell 37.5 million iPhones during this quarter, he had previously projected unit sales of 42 million, but has reduced the number since Apple’s official results were announced. During the year-ago quarter, Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones, so if Munster’s prediction comes true, it would definitely result into flat year-over-year sales growth. Its not only the current quarter, Munster has also reduced projected growth rates for 2014 and 2015 by as much as 7 percent. The analyst believes that this can be attributed to decline in U.S. smartphone sales as well as consumer shift towards cheaper Android devices in certain markets. A recent survey by Kantar WorldPanel showed that iPhone share in numerous markets declined in the past quarter, whereas Android smartphones continued to capture more.
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