Apple is expected to launch the next duo of iPhones in September, which it hopes will have the same momentum of success that was enjoyed when the current iPhone flagships launched. However, an analyst from KGI Securities predicts that, compared to last year's iPhone sales, this year will display either zero or negative growth.

The analyst further predicts that this year, Apple will sell from 65 million iPhones to 75 million units, which do not show any improvement when compared with last year's sales of 74.5 million handsets.

If such predictions prove to be accurate, it will definitely contradict earlier reports, which say that Apple has increased its record order for the first batch of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to a staggering number of 85 to 90 million units. Last year, the company reportedly ordered 70 to 80 million iPhones.

However, the analyst reveals that Apple changed its plans a bit after it reduced the number of its iPhone orders by one percent.

The analyst, which some guess to be no other than Ming-Chi Kuo, gives two major reasons for his prediction. First among them is the lower sales of smartphones seen in China. The second is based on the failure of Force Touch, a feature believed to come to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, to create a good impression.

Apple has always seen China as its biggest iPhone market. The country is also regarded as the largest smartphone market on a global scale. However, smartphone sales in the country, as well as the spending power of the nation as a whole, seems to be suffering from a decline.

Apple reportedly sold more iPhones in China as compared to the number of sales it saw in the U.S. The company now holds approximately 18.1 percent of the market in China, while sales of its iPhones through China Mobile made up around 63 percent in the initial three months of launching the handset.

"We're investing like crazy in the market," said CEO Tim Cook. "When I look at China, I see an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history."

Meanwhile, Apple has been vigorously promoting Force Touch, a technology which it touts as a new way for users to interact with their smartphones. Then again, the new pressure-sensing technology seems to have created a much lesser impact compared to the more impressive features Apple added to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus when it launched the handsets last year.

It remains to be seen just how accurate these predictions will be. There is a possibility that consumers will eventually find Force Touch more appealing after trying it or seeing it being demonstrated by friends.

As for China's declining smartphone sales, things may prove otherwise as major companies such as Xiaomi and OnePlus are both gearing up to release their flagships this year.  

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

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