Consumer technology is big business, so there’s money to be made forecasting and estimating Apple’s sales. But in an interview, the CEO of one of Apple’s biggest manufacturing partners has defended the iPhone 7, and predicted it will be a sales hit.
Pegatron chairperson Tung Tzu-hsien spoke to Nikkei Asian Review about the launch of the iPhone 7, saying he remains “cautiously optimistic” while declining to discuss actual numbers.
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Tung’s cautious optimism flies in the face of most other analysts, who are predicting lower sales for this year than for the iPhone 6s. Most of that is down to a perceived lack of innovation — Apple kept the same chassis design and screen for the iPhone 7, so consumers can’t be bothered to upgrade. Or at least, that’s how one line of thinking goes.
“Consumers do not care about what analysts say about the lack of innovative features,” Tung said. That’s anecdotally backed up by the fact that iPhones are sold out all over the globe, reviews have mostly been positive, and networks have seen record sales figures.
But outside of the US, most numbers paint a different picture. Apple’s stock fell by over 1 percent on Friday, when German market research firm GfK predicted a 25% drop in iPhone 7 sales outside the U.S.
Tung also did not thing the Samsung Note 7 explodepocalypse would help iPhone sales figures. “The Note series only takes up a small portion of Samsung’s total shipments. Our U.S. client’s new handsets are competing against Samsung’s S7 series rather than the Note 7,” Tung told Nikkei.
With Apple refusing to release sales figures this year, we will probably have to wait until the next set of financial earnings to know how well the iPhone sold. In the US, it seems like business as usual. But Apple is much more than just a seller of iPhones to well-heeled high schoolers, and the global picture may turn out to be less rosy.