When the iPhone 16 series arrives this fall, almost certainly, it may have two glaring omissions which could lead to less stellar sales, a new report claims. Not only will there be no “significant design changes” but one key driver of sales, generative AI, is not going to arrive at scale on the iPhone “until 2025 at the earliest.”
Does this seem right? Well, it could be, because the report comes from one of the most reliable analysts out there, Ming-Chi Kuo from TFI Securities.
Kuo’s latest post on Medium claims that Apple has “lowered its 2024 iPhone shipments of key upstream semiconductor components” by 15% compared to the year before, adding that this could mean “the most significant decline among the major global mobile phone brands in 2024.”
Kuo claims that this is down to, “a new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design.” Kuo goes on to explain that this is because when people are choosing pricey cellphones, they are now looking at two different elements, AI and foldables.
But hold on, you say, we weren’t expecting a foldable iPhone, but isn’t AI coming to the iPhone this year? There certainly have been strong rumors that Apple will announce big changes to iOS at WWDC in June, and it may even be the biggest update ever. But Kuo says that Apple “will not launch… the more comprehensive/differentiated GenAI ecosystem/applications until 2025 at the earliest.”
Let’s put this a bit more positively. If it’s right that big AI changes are coming to iOS 18, as predicted, then hold on to your hats for what’s coming next year.
Kuo also claims that there will be a “continued decline in shipments in the Chinese market,” because of the preference for a foldable phone at the premium end of the market, alongside “the return of Huawei”, the brand which had been flailing since restrictions on international product sales were placed on it, but has seen a resurgence in the last few months.
The report also says “Apple will not launch new iPhone models with significant design changes,” again, not until 2025 or later.
Of course, there have already been reports of new updates to the iPhone 16 range. These include different displays on some models, wider implementation of the exceptional tetraprism camera, a new strategy for its new-generation processors, more advanced camera lenses, noticeably more efficient OLED displays, a new thermal design to prevent overheating, improved battery life, a new microphone to improve Siri, an extra button, designed for shooting video and an improved main camera sensor.
I mean, that’s quite a list, and you may feel that if all the above are delivered, that they add up to significant design changes already. And it’s only February! Plenty more leaks could appear before the fall. Again, if Kuo reckons that 2025’s improvements will be on a much bigger scale than this year’s, then I can’t wait.