) sold a
large number of iPads
last weekend and an
even greater number of iPhones
in September. But now that the dust has settled and consumers
have had the chance to use their new products, one new study
suggests that Apple might not be able to continue posting
record-breaking sales. Year after year, the Cupertino,
California-based tech giant relies heavily on repeat customers.
Without them, Apple would be struggling to compete with the likes
of Google (NASDAQ:
), Samsung, Amazon (NASDAQ:
) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:
). Even Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
) would have an advantage over Apple if the Mac-maker failed to
maintain its impressive level of customer loyalty.
According to a new study by
, 88 percent of domestic iPhone owners are "likely to buy"
another Apple smartphone. This is an extremely high number, but
it is also a five-point decrease from a similar survey conducted
That number is even lower for European iPhone owners who plan
to buy another Apple smartphone. In 2011, 88 percent said that
they would likely stay with Apple. This year, just 75 percent of
consumers want another iPhone.
These results are seriously dangerous for a company that is
expected to experience continued growth. Before the iPhone 5 was
set new records
for product demand. The device was expected to sell as many as 10
million units during its first weekend of availability.
This lofty expectation proved to be too high, even for the
iPhone 5. Apple sold
more than five million units
, beating the previous record set by the iPhone 4S. But that was
not enough to satisfy analysts and investors.
Apple disappointed analysts again when it announced that it
had sold 100 million iPads worldwide. They were also disappointed
by the botched launch of Apple's mapping application, the high
price and generic features of the iPad Mini and the odd decision
to sell the fourth-generation iPad this year. No matter what
Apple does, the company cannot seem to win.
In the long run, analyst complaints do not matter. Apple could
not possibly break records and increase profits forever. Thus,
the stock may never reach the $1,000 price target that many had
predicted. That alone will disappoint those who were hoping to
become billionaires by investing in the iPhone maker.
Apple has bigger things to worry about -- namely the
next-generation iPhone. Whether it is called the iPhone 6, the
iPhone 5S or something else entirely, Apple will surely release a
new smartphone in 2013. But if demand for future Apple-made
smartphones is already beginning to decline, the company is in
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