For the past couple of months, we’ve been hearing rumors and speculation about how iPhone sales have started to slow down, and how sales might actually shrink this year. These rumors were more or less confirmed during Apple’s quarterly earning report on Tuesday, where it reported that iPhone sales grew by less than one percent year-over-year, and that the iPhone will probably experience its first sales decline later this year. As a result of this, Apple’s revenue will experience its first decline in more than a decade.
The iPhone fueled Apple’s ascendance into the world’s most valuable company. But even iPhone sales have their limits. Apple on Tuesday reported results for its fiscal first quarter that showed iPhone sales rose less than 1 percent from a year earlier, the slowest year-over-year growth rate ever for the device, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company’s revenue. Apple also issued a sales forecast that signaled that the sluggishness would continue, with the company projecting its first revenue decline in more than a decade. The results and guidance reflect how Apple, under its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, is grappling with becoming a maturing tech company and is now entering a period of slow growth. While Apple once delivered high double-digit revenue gains on the back of soaring sales of the iPhone and other devices, that has decelerated as the iPhone has begun saturating the market and the company has not introduced a new blockbuster device. In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Mr. Cook said that the slowdown at Apple was indicative of greater global economic and financial market uncertainty.