Apple is expected to take the wraps off the new iPhone 7 in September this year, but with overall sales of the iPhone going down, more company partners seem to be skeptical that the model can succeed.

Apple revealed the first decline in iPhone sales a few weeks ago, and given the fact that the upcoming iPhone 7 is very likely to be similar in design and features to the 6s, suppliers reportedly do not believe that any significant recovery can be experienced.

Sources familiar with the matter have told local media, including the Nikkei Asian Review, that several vendors currently working with Apple estimate slow orders in the second half of the year, mostly because of dropping iPhone sales. Apple’s suppliers typically receive big orders before a new iPhone hits the market in anticipation of what the Cupertino-based company has until now expected to be huge demand.

But it turns out that predictions do not go as far this year with the iPhone 7 and orders for components are the first to be affected, suppliers claim. TSMC is one such example, as it’s expected to produce the new chips available on the revamped iPhones, with company officials estimating that shipments would drop to as low as 70 percent of the level achieved last year.

Bigger iPhone overhaul next year

Without a doubt, Apple’s struggle to remain relevant in a very competing market is impacting all of its partners, and suppliers are the first ones to be worried that their revenues would drop should the next iPhone fail to meet expectations.

But according to people close to the matter, the iPhone 7 is only an attempt from Apple to buy more time, as the company could actually introduce this model now before a bigger overhaul next year.

The 2017 iPhone is believed to come with major changes, including a new design and all-screen front that would eliminate bezels and incorporate the FaceTime camera, the Touch ID sensor, and everything else. Furthermore, Apple could also make the switch to OLED screens with this model, sources say.

This major overhaul, however, arrives next year, so in the meantime, both Apple and its partners need to find a way to cope with the identity crisis that’s being experienced right now by the iPhone maker. And by the looks of it, the iPhone 7 isn’t likely to help much.

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