Merchant Innovation

Is iPhone Facing A Rough Ride?

While Apple has a solid chance – and certainly predicated many of its plan on – expansion in developing markets, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich is seeing some strong headwinds in the firm’s future.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit rough here for next one to two quarters. We’re looking for pretty flat to down in the March quarter shipments,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The grim prediction comes as Google search traffic for the iPhone is on the decline in the U.S. and even more so in China, with search traffic growth dropping to 15 percent from 80 at the same time last year. Milunovich explains the drop with a  tough comparisons with the iPhone 6’s record breaking first year on the market.

Milunovich maintained a buy rating, but dropped the price target for Apple at UBS  from $150 to $130.  This now makes UBS one of many houses taking an increasingly skeptical view of Apple. However, Milunovich also noted that Apple is helped – at least in the short-term – buy no obvious looming disruptor.

“There is a long-term disruption threat — there always is in tech — but I just don’t see in the next couple years who’s going to really hurt Apple,” he said.

Samsung has suffered through a string of weak quarters and neither Nokia or Blackberry have been able to develop a truly competitive OS.


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