Apple reported its latest quarterly earnings this week, and, as always, the key number was iPhone sales. The company sold 50.8 million of its flagship product this past quarter — that’s a massive number for most companies not named Apple, but a tad below the 52 million or so analysts were expecting.
And as this chart from Statista shows, it continued an ongoing trend of iPhone sales growth staying relatively flat year-over-year. After last quarter brought a momentary rise in sales — boosted in part by Apple counting an extra week during the period — this quarter’s figure fell slightly below where it was a year ago.
To be clear: Apple is doing fine. Beyond the obvious fact that it’s still selling a massive number of iPhones every quarter, its revenue is up in most of the world, and its services business is extracting more and more cash from the big user base it already has.
But it’s been clear for some time now that the boom caused by the iPhone 6 has tailed off. To hear CEO Tim Cook tell it, part of the sales slowdown is due to sheer anticipation for the iPhone 8. The bigger problem, though, may be the company’s ongoing decline in China, its main growth engine in recent years. The iPhone has taken a big tumble in the region in terms of market share, falling to just 9.6% last year. The iPhone 8 and its rumored “edge-to-edge” design may help Apple regain the ground it’s lost after launching more iterative models the last couple of years.