This afternoon, Apple reports earnings for the last quarter of 2015 (the first quarter of its FY 2016). It’s the company’s most important earnings report in years.
Analysts are expecting the company to announce sales of 75.5 million iPhones. That would be growth of only 1.4% since last year’s quarter, the lowest rate of growth ever.
As this chart from Statista shows, Apple has been in a similar situation before. Growth in the last quarter of 2013 (Q1 ’14 here, as these are fiscal quarters) was similarly low, as consumers didn’t see enough new bells and whistles in the iPhone 5S compared with the iPhone 5. Meanwhile, a lot of consumers were favouring larger-screened phones from Samsung and other Android phone makers.
What happened next? Apple released the slightly larger iPhone 6 and very large iPhone 6 Plus in late 2014. Sales skyrocketed, Samsung was vanquished, and the company’s stock nearly doubled from January 2014 to the middle of 2015.
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