iPhone Sales Fall, Ending Apple's Record Growth
How long have you had your Apple iPhone or computer? If you have not replaced that product in the last two or three years, you may be part of the reason for Apple's falling sales numbers.
Apple is the world's most valuable company. Its yearly growth trend started in the early 2000s, with exciting new computers and a portable music player known as the iPod.
The company continued to grow, with the introduction of the iPhone smartphone. Then, it introduced the iPad tablet.
Sales of Apple products grew every year for 51 straight quarters. That all changed on Tuesday, when the company reported a drop in sales. Sales for the first quarter of 2016 dropped 13 percent.
Sales dropped to $50.6 billion from $58 billion during the same quarter in 2015.
The news caused Apple's stock to drop, too. The company's shares were down by about 8 percent in after-hours trading.
Slow growth in China
Some experts say the struggling Chinese economy may be to blame for Apple's weaker sales. The company's report shows sales were down in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong by a combined 26 percent. In the past, Apple was able to depend on sales growth in those markets.
Apple's Chief Executive, Tim Cook, says the smartphone market is not growing because of the slowing economies in some countries.
But other experts say Apple is no longer regularly producing exciting products. People who bought new Apple laptops or smartphones in the last two or three years do not feel like they need to buy the latest products.
Rob Pegoraro is a technology writer for USA Today and Yahoo. He says he still likes to use the Apple products he owns but, there is nothing "revolutionary" right now.
"You got a lot of people upgrading to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus. The 6s and the 6s Plus, they're better, but as the names would suggest, they're not exactly revolutionary. Normal people don't buy new phones every year. "
Apple still makes a lot of money
Pegoraro also says that Apple did not really have a bad quarter. The company still makes a lot of money from the products it sells. It is just not growing anymore.
"Their gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent. I struggle to think of how many other industries or companies could pull down those kind of profit margins for over a decade straight."
Pegoraro says there is not much more room for improvement in the products Apple makes. For example, the company could create an iPhone with a battery that lasts five days. "That would be amazing, but you're running into the laws of physics there," Pegoraro says.
The Associated Press news agency reports that there are still parts of Apple's business that are growing. For example, there are 500 million iPhones in use. Those phones need cloud storage, apps and music. That part of the company is worth $6 billion per quarter now, and that is an increase of 20 percent over the same period last year.
There are also concerns that the Apple Watch, which came out a year ago, did not have better sales. But the watch actually sold more than twice as many units in its first year compared to the first iPhone in 2007.
Right now people can only guess what is next for Apple. Some think the company will make an electric car. It is building a new headquarters that has been described as a spaceship or flying saucer by some observers.
Pegoraro warns to not underestimate Apple just because of this small drop in sales.
"This company, their problem is they made a lot of money, just not more money than they made the last quarter. You know, if that's failure, then I should only hope to be just as much of a disaster!"
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.music player 音乐播放器
Why do you need a mini-computer when all you want is a music player?
2.known as 以...而著称
In Beijing they are known as “the mouse tribe, ” which some find demeaning.
在北京他们被称为“鼠族” 。 有些人觉得这个称呼有辱人格 。
3.the first quarter 第一季度
Shipment of these orders is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2010.
4.no longer 不再
He could no longer hold back his tears.
1.He says he still likes to use the Apple products he owns but, there is nothing "revolutionary" right now.
right now 立即；当前
And we will send you a replacement right now.
I have no definite ideas in that area right now.
2.I struggle to think of how many other industries or companies could pull down those kind of profit margins for over a decade straight."
pull down 下滑；摧毁
Will you pull down the blinds a bit?
They are going to pull down that building.
苹果公司是全球市值最高的公司 。21世纪初，该公司发布了新品电脑和iPod便携式音乐播放器并以此奠定了效益逐年增长的态势 。
苹果销售额连续51个季度都保持增长之势 。但这一利好态势在周二戛然而止：苹果公司宣布销售额下滑 。2016年第一季度的销售额下降了13% 。
这一消息继而导致苹果股票暴跌 。该公司股票在盘后交易中下跌了8%左右 。
专家表示，中国经济不景气可能是苹果销售市场萎靡的罪魁恶首 。苹果公司报告显示，苹果在中国及中国的台湾和香港地区的销售额共下降了26% 。过去，苹果公司仅靠这些市场就可实现销售业绩增长 。
苹果CEO蒂姆·库克（Tim Cook）表示，由于一些国家经济放缓，智能手机市场萎靡不振 。
而其他专家表示，苹果缺乏新产品的创新 。过去两三年间，苹果电脑或苹果智能手机的用户不再有购买新产品的需求 。
罗布·佩戈拉罗（Rob Pegoraro）是今日美国和雅虎网站的一位科技作家 。他表示自己还是喜欢用苹果产品，但目前苹果公司没有任何“变革性”的产品 。
“很多用户换成了iPhone 6或iPhone 6 plus 。iPhone 6和iPhone 6 Plus的性能更加优越，这一点无可厚非，可正如产品的名字一样，这并非真正的变革 。普通人谁会每年换一部手机呢 。”
佩戈拉罗称，苹果公司这个季度并非想象中那么糟糕 。公司所售产品仍然稳赚，只是不再增长而已 。
他说，“以前公司的毛利率为40.8%，而现在的毛利率为39.4% 。很难想象有哪个行业或公司能连续十来年取得如此利润 。”
佩戈拉罗指出，苹果产品没有太大的改进空间 。例如，公司生产一部电池仅能持续5天的iPhone手机 。他解释道，“此举虽然新奇，但会面临各种物理问题 。”
美联社发布称，苹果公司部分业务仍处于增长态势 。例如，目前使用中的iPhone手机多达5亿台 。这些手机需要云储存、应用程序以及音乐 。目前该部分业务每季度的利润为60亿美元，比上年同期增长了20% 。
民众担心去年推出的Apple Watch销量不佳 。但Apple Watch首年实际销量是2007年发布的第一代iPhone销量的两倍以上 。
人们现在都在揣度苹果的下一步计划 。有人认为苹果公司可能会生产电动汽车 。因为该公司现正建造“宇宙飞船”或“飞碟”式的新总部 。
“这家公司仍然赚钱，只是没有上季度赚的多而已 。如果这也算失败，我只想说让我也这样失败吧 。”