Even though the iPhone 15 family is expected to launch in just over a month, Kuo says market expectations are not especially strong for the new phones. He initially writes that "2H23 shipment forecasts for Apple’s hardware products in 2H23 are almost universally weaker in 2H23 than in 2H22," a category that encompasses the new iPhone but also any other devices Apple ships during that time, including any other gadgets that may also debut during the Apple September event.
Kuo makes things clearer further down in his report, saying that "the demand for iPhone 15 is lower than that of iPhone 14." This fits with an overall trend of globally declining smartphone sales, impacted in no small part by the cost of living crisis.
However, other analysts disagree with Kuo's conclusions. For example, one has claimed this year could be a bumper sales period for the iPhone 15 due to the number of users due for an upgraded handset.
Will the iPhone 15 be worth buying?
Some big improvements are tipped to come to the iPhone 15 series, like the Dynamic Island, USB-C charging and larger batteries. The iPhone 15 Pro lineup is tipped to get a more powerful 3nm A17 Bionic chip, titanium sides and thinner bezels, plus a periscope zoom camera for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
But if you're tight on cash, none of these changes are worth getting rid of a perfectly functional phone for. Particularly if rumors of a $200 price increase for the Pro models are accurate.
An upgrade looks even less necessary when you consider the impact of iOS 17. The new version of the iPhone's software is going to be available on devices as old as the iPhone XS and iPhone XR, and is set to bring enhancements such as StandBy mode, NameDrop contact sharing and new abilities to Messages and FaceTime alongside the launch of the iPhone 15.
Of course, it's worth remembering that weaker demand for an iPhone is still very strong demand in general terms.
There may be enough of a drop in sales since last year to make shareholders grumble, but it's a safe bet that we're still going to see the new iPhone sell in huge numbers.
If you're unsure about whether the next iPhone is for you or not, take a look at our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max hubs for more rumors and leaked info. Or simply wait a few weeks, since we should see the iPhone 15 lineup arrive in the second week of September (unless claims of delays turn out to be true).
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.