Apple suffered from lower-than-expected iPhone sales during the first fiscal quarter of 2019 (calendar Q4 2019). Apple CEO Tim Cook told reporters during today’s Apple earnings call that one contributing factor to lower iPhone sales is that owners of iPhones are holding onto their devices longer.
However, possibly the main factor in sagging sales is the strength of the U.S. dollar has made the iPhone more expensive in other parts of the world. That’s why Apple is planning to lower prices in emerging markets, such as Turkey, where revenue fell $700 million from the previous year.
The lack of carrier subsidies contributed to the lack of device upgrades. In addition, Apple’s 2018 battery replacement program, which saw Apple swapping out the battery in a user’s iPhone for $29 also contributed to lowered new iPhone sales. This allowed users to hold on to their older iPhone for a longer time.
Cook says while analyst suggest Apple shouldn’t offer the battery swaps, the Cupertino firm “strongly believes it was the right thing to do for customers.”
iPhone sales were down 15% year-over-year, due to lower than expected sales in China (where revenue fell 26.7%), and other parts of the world. However, the company’s business grew in many parts of the world, setting new records in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and other countries.