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Apple shipments set for sharp increase

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IHS Technology forecasts a 22% jump in the number of iPhone shipments in 2015 compared to 2014.

“Apple and all smartphone OEMs are competing with their own old models: they have to prove their 2015 models are better to drive upgrades,” says Ian Fogg, director of mobile analysis at IHS Technology.

“Sales of the iPhone 6S should do better than past iPhone initial sales because of wider country availability early, especially China,” he says. “IHS forecasts Apple will ship 236 million iPhones this year, 22% up on 2014.

“:Apple has changed the smartphone market. People spend more on their smartphones now than they did pre-iPhone and Apple has grown its share of the premium market at the expense of Samsung, LG and others. They have shaped the market as an Apple market.

“The biggest innovations that Apple has done have typically been on the S series. On the surface the product looks the same, but under the bonnet it’s totally different,” Fogg adds.

“The key differentiator this year is the 3D Touch, which is strongly differentiated from every other smartphone maker’s phones. 3D Touch will power new apps, which will be exclusive to the iPhone because Android smartphones lack the hardware support needed for a pressure sensitive screen.”

Next year is the big one for Apple, Fogg believes. “In 2016, Apple will have to sustain iPhone 6S sales throughout the year in a mature smartphone market and it must find a way to redesign the iPhone look radically, to continue to drive upgrades. This will be a greater challenge than achieveing success in 2015 where Apple has benefitted from the straightforward switch to offering larger screen iPhones.