Apple’s decision to stop reporting iPhone shipment figures in its financial statements left commentators relying on vastly different reports on unit sales, with a 5.8 million discrepancy in the latest two Q4 handset analyst reports.
Following the release of Apple’s fiscal Q1 2019 earnings yesterday (29 January) Strategy Analytics placed the smartphone vendor’s shipments in the last three months of 2018 at 65.9 million, down 15 per cent year-on-year (Apple’s fiscal period ran to 29 December).
However, rival company Canalys estimated a smaller annual sales decline of 7.3 per cent to 71.7 million units. Both used Apple’s official figure of 77.3 million iPhone shipments during fiscal Q1 2018 in their annual comparisons.
While both research companies noted weakness in Asia as a key factor in the declines, Strategy Analytics also cited the high cost of the devices “unfavourable foreign exchange rates” and stiff competition from rivals including Huawei. Owners are also hanging onto their devices for longer, while a reduction in carrier subsidies in some developed markets also played a part.
Apple’s fiscal Q1 figures are its first without including iPhone shipment numbers, though it still publishes iPhone-specific revenue figures, which showed a decline of 15 per cent year-on-year.Subscribe to our daily newsletter