iPhone 16 won't be a significant design change — Analyst warns "Apple may have the most significant decline among the major global mobile phone brands in 2024"

iPhone 15 Review
(Image credit: Future)

A top Apple insider and analyst has warned the company’s iPhone 16, expected in September of this year, will not feature a significant design change over the previous model, and that 2024 could be a bumpy year for Apple’s smartphones. 

Writing in a blog post on Medium, Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple “has lowered its 2024 iPhone shipments of key upstream semiconductor components to about 200 million units,” down 15% year on year, as it anticipates a challenging 2024 and a “significant decline in shipments."

Kuo says that shipments of both the new iPhone 16 and Apple’s current best iPhone, the iPhone 15, will decline by 10-15% year on year in the first and second halves of 2024 respectively.

A tumultuous 2024 for iPhone 

According to Kuo, the iPhone faces “structural challenges that will lead to a significant decline in shipments in 2024” including “the emergence of a new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design and the continued decline in shipments in the Chinese market.” Kuo says “The new high-end mobile phone design paradigm includes AI (GenAI) and foldable phones,” two emerging trends Apple has been notably bearish on in recent years. 

Kuo says rivals including Huawei and Samsung will benefit at Apple’s expense, with the former re-emerging in China. Kuo says Apple’s shipments in China are down 30-40% year on year “in recent weeks” owing to Huawei’s resurgence and “the fact that foldable phones have gradually become the first choice for high-end users in the Chinese market.” 

While Apple is expected to herald some pretty significant AI innovations through Siri and the iPhone at WWDC later this year, an iPhone fold is nowhere to be seen. As it stands, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro both promise to be muted upgrades, according to the latest rumors and reports.

Kuo says Apple “will not launch new iPhone models with significant design changes and the more comprehensive/differentiated GenAI ecosystem/applications until 2025 at the earliest,” and that Apple’s shipment momentum is likely to falter in the intervening period. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • FFR
    No design changes, just a bigger screen.
    Reply
  • naddy69
    "Apple may have the most significant decline among the major global mobile phone brands in 2024"

    Then again, maybe they won't. :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    Seriously, what type of iPhone design are people expecting Apple to make? With that being said, a major design change won’t necessarily equate to millions of sales. Finally, why would Apple consider a major design change when they are still selling iPhones by the millions worldwide?
    Reply
  • FFR
    naddy69 said:
    "Apple may have the most significant decline among the major global mobile phone brands in 2024"

    Then again, maybe they won't. :rolleyes:

    Remeber when bloomberg claimed Apple was losing marketshare in China last month amid declining shipments.


    Reality
    Reply
  • FFR
    Just_Me_D said:
    Seriously, what type of iPhone design are people expecting Apple to make? With that being said, a major design change won’t necessarily equate to millions of sales. Finally, why would Apple consider a major design change when they are still selling iPhones by the millions worldwide?

    Not only selling millions worldwide but actually number 1 in marketshare for 2023.

    I guess all android oems need to change their designs as well.

    Reply
  • naddy69
    "Remember when bloomberg claimed Apple was losing marketshare in China last month amid declining shipments."

    Yes, I remember that. People have been proclaiming that "Apple is doomed!" for decades now. It is not going to change. Why? Because "Apple is doomed!" generates clicks, headlines and discussions.

    Like this.
    Reply