Shipments of the iPhone reportedly could fall nearly 9% this year

Shipments of the iPhone will fall as much as 8.6 percent this year from 2015, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review and picked up by 9to5Mac.

Citing an unnamed "person at a major supplier," Nikkei said "lukewarm demand" for the next iPhone will result in the first annual decline in shipments since the handset's 2007 debut. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou informed his staff that demand for the iPhone "will remain feeble until at least early next year," according to the piece.

Foxconn assembles roughly 70 percent of all iPhones. Foxconn reported a 2.1 percent drop in revenue in May, according to PhoneArena.com, although that slide apparently was due to products other than mobile phones.

Like its rivals, Apple has struggled to maintain its momentum in a worldwide smartphone market that has reached saturation in many regions. The company in April said it shipped 51.2 million iPhones during its first quarter, down from the 61.2 million it shipped during the same period during the year-ago period.

Those figures marked the first time Apple's revenues had fallen year-over-year since 2003. The unexpectedly sluggish results drove down Apple's shares nearly 7 percent following the release of its quarterly earnings.

The iPhone SE, which was released in late March, doesn't appear to have given the company an immediate boost, unlike some previous models. Localytics said in April that the device had the lowest adoption in its first weekend of availability of any Apple handset since 2012 due in part to a lack of new features. And while the company is widely expected to launch a new flagship phone in the form of the iPhone 7 later this year, Nikkei's sources said the device "lacked innovation."

For more:
- see this Nikkei report
- read this 9to5Mac article

Related articles:
Apple shows declines in revenues, profits and iPhones sales - and predicts more of the same this year
Report: Next Apple Watch could have cellular connectivity
Report: Newer iPhones not selling as well as last year's flagships
TrendForce: iPhone shipments plummeted 43.8% sequentially in Q1

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