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Fanfare for Apple ‘fading fast’ as interest in iPhone 7 plummets

Paul Withers
September 5, 2016

Interest in Apple’s latest iPhone release has fallen to an all-time low according to the B2B channel, with Samsung now dominating sales.

Apple unveiled its latest incarnation,the iPhone 7 at its annual autumn event in San Francisco last Wednesday (September 7). Its release date has been mooted to be a week later, on September 16.

But according to some of the UK’s leading B2B dealers, interest from customers is now rapidly fading as customers increasingly turn to other manufacturers with wider portfolios and different price points.

O2 direct partner Barclay Communications managing director Britt Megahey said: “Our iPhone sales have fallen and the demand just isn’t there anymore. The waiting list is a great barometer as to how much hype there is, but it isn’t long the for the iPhone 7.

Strong rivals

“Samsung has stepped up and we sell many more of their handsets compared to anyone else. They have a range across many price points and with KNOX security,it is an extremely strong offering.”

Leading Vodafone Platinum Partner CommsXchange sales director Emrah Külünk agreed. “Besides from one diehard customer, we’ve seen very little demand for the iPhone 7,” he said. “It’s because the technology isn’t changing enough. The hype that was iPhone is dwindling. There will be an initial spike in sales, but I can’t see them recovering from their recent financial positions.”

Welcomm Communications purchasing manager Darren Tiday added: “I’ve had very few enquiries from customers about the upcoming iPhone. It’s probably because they don’t see any major new technologies on the new handset. I don’t see them recovering if there’s nothing new.”

Interest wanes

Sales for Apple handsets, which have totalled more than a billion since its first release in 2007, have been in decline for the first time over the past six months.

In Q2, Apple’s iPhone sales, which included the release of the SE, fell for the second successive quarter, down 15 per cent year-on-year to 40.399 million units. According to figures from analyst IDC for Q2, Apple’s global smartphone market share had slipped from 13.9 per cent to 11.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

In contrast, Samsung’s market share has risen from 21.3 per cent to 22.4 per cent.

In B2B Samsung has invested heavily into its new ‘Samsung Partner Programme’, to help boost its credentials and drive sales in B2B.

“Challenging times”

Industry analysts share the same views as dealers and remain unconvinced the new model will stem the recent decline.

IDC research director for European mobile devices Francisco Jeronimo told Mobile News: “These are challenging times for Apple. Most people already have a smartphone that they are happy with so it’s becoming more difficult to convince people to replace that.

“There have been a lot of rumours about the iPhone 7 but from what I’ve seen, there are unlikely to be many major changes to the design or features. Unless this is a disruptive device, it will be difficult for Apple to reverse the tide.

“The excitement around iPhone launches just isn’t the same anymore because the features in most devices are already excellent.”

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