Since the release of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, there has been a shortage of the new devices. However, that shortage may have more to do with supply than with consumer demand. Third party data suggested that the first weekend iPhone 7 sales figures were similar to last year’s iPhone 6S sales. But a new report from research firm Gartner says the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus sales won’t be strong enough to bring Apple back to growth this year.

iPhone 7 Plus
Image Credit: Apple Inc.

High-end smartphone sales to return to growth only in 2017

Gartner said in a report that growth in the worldwide smartphone market will slow this year to just 4.5%. The slowdown is mainly because the research firm expects the sales of premium smartphones to decline by 1.1% for the full year. A decline in premium smartphone sales won’t be a good sign for Apple, which has seen the iPhone sales decline for the first time since launch.

Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said the worldwide iPhone sales will continue to decline in the third and fourth quarters of 2016 despite the launch of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, the research firm believes that premium smartphone sales will return to growth in 2017, largely due to the iPhone 8. The next year’s iPhone 8 is expected to have a new design to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

The next-gen flagship iPhone will reportedly feature an edge-to-edge display, an all-glass design, wireless charging, and an iris scanner for enhanced security. The home button, fingerprint scanner, and other sensors will be embedded in the display itself. Gartner said the high-end smartphone sales will go up by 3.5% in 2017.

Issues that iPhone 7 users are facing

Ever since the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, users have been complaining about several issues. For instance, the iPhone 7 users on Verizon are facing LTE connectivity issues. The phones randomly drop the LTE signal and fall back to 3G. Meanwhile, BMW owners have complained that their brand new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus would not connect to the infotainment system in their cars via Bluetooth for some reason.

And now several iPhone 7 and 7 Plus buyers have taken it to social media and various forums to complain about an Activation Lock issue. Users reported that their iPhones were linked to Apple ID email addresses that did not belong to them. With a wrong Apple ID appearing there, you can’t sign in and setup the iPhone. The issue appears when users turn on the device for the first time.

It’s unclear when the Apple ID mixups began, but some iPhone 6S users have also reported that they faced the same issue when restoring their phones to default settings.