The iPhone 7 is a polarizing product; you either love it or you hate it. Apple’s 2016 flagship can be seen as either a natural progression of the iPhone or a hostile ploy to sell wireless earbuds. The latter argument has been fleshed out here on D&theJM, so let’s instead focus on sales of the handset rather than opinions regarding the single-ported flagship.
Apple is still the world’s most profitable company but as we learned from their end-of-quarter report in October, Cupertino is not infallible. Having reported their first decline in sales year over year since 2001, Apple is experiencing a cooling with regard to interest in its hardware products.
It is in this market of slowing smartphone sales that reports of reduced iPhone production have surfaced. Apple profited from an unsustainable, one-time boost at the 7’s launch “driven by strong demand for the jet black iPhone 7 models and in part by the mishap brought upon by Samsung Galaxy Note 7” say Monica and Steve Shen of DigiTimes of Taiwan and Greater China.
It's no surprise that the iPhone 7's reception has been lukewarm given how iterative an update it is to the iPhone 6S. Apple has traditionally revised the internals of their flagship on S-cycle iPhones and redesigned the chassis on numbered releases in an Intel-esque Tick-Tock pattern. Having broken this trend and reused a two-year-old design with the iPhone 7, Cupertino will have to hit one out of the park with its tenth anniversary iPhone 8 if it hopes to reverse its fortunes, sizable though they still are.