iPhone 16 may be underwhelming say Apple stock analysts — here's why

iPhone 16 Pro Concept Video Science & Knowledge
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The iPhone 16 won't be able to reverse the current trend of falling iPhone sales because, according to a note written by Barclays investment analysts and seen by AppleInsider, it's not going to be a particularly exciting launch.

As the analysts tell it, Apple stock has been doing better than it should lately — considering it's been missing performance targets. And since the analysts "see no features or upgrades that are likely to make the iPhone 16 more compelling," this year's iPhone launch doesn't fill them with much hope.

Apple’s stock price reflects the whole company’s performance, not just that of the iPhone. But even looking at devices like iPads and Macs, where Apple is still outperforming the competition, Barclays analysts still aren’t convinced Apple is about to turn suddenly things around, hence why they've cut their price target for Apple stock slightly.

How much change are you looking for?

The Barclays investor note doesn't cite any specific features or upgrades when discussing the iPhone 16, but we can assume the analysts are running with the same leaks that we've been hearing, such as the iPhone 16 Pro getting the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 5x telephoto camera, all models getting a new Capture button or AI-focused updates like an improved microphone for voice commands.

It's easy to see from recent iPhone releases that Apple's slowed down the rate at which it introduces new hardware to its phones, a trend seen across the smartphone industry. And perhaps from an investor's point of view this isn't good enough to make putting your own money into the company worth it. But based on the updates tipped for the phone so far, we're still hopefully going to find the iPhone 16 series a top-quality set of handsets once again, and likely that some of the models are best phone contenders.

With iPhone launches normally happening in September each year, there’s still some time for more, more significant rumors about the iPhone 16 series to break cover. Plus if you agree with the Barclays analysts that none of the likely changes are going to be that interesting, we should soon be seeing the Apple Vision Pro headset launch, which will be an exciting new experience for those lucky enough to afford one.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

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.