As iPhone Sales Decline, So Too Does Apple’s Employees’ Pay

Since the introduction of the iPhone in June 2007, Apple’s handset skyrocketed to critical acclaim, creating a market of phones as powerful as computers in the palm of our hands. This device is now a phenomenon we refer to as the “smartphone,” and Apple was the pioneer of this technology, establishing a new frontier in technological development of highly advanced phones. With the iPhone being the first to market in 2007, sales of the device steadily increased over the years, with the usual ebb and flow of typical sales trends throughout the quarters; still, the iPhone’s popularity grew immensely and so, too, did the device’s sales at the start of every quarter, especially those quarters where new iterations of the phone were unveiled and released to the world. (The sales growth quarters are usually around Q1 and Q3 for Apple, when new iPhones hit the market in both the spring and the fall of any given year.)

Unfortunately, with the passing of famous — or infamous, depending on your point of view — and venerated CEO Steve Jobs just six years ago in 2011, the Cupertino-based company has seemingly lost its edginess, its innovation, producing products that don’t seem to align with the Apple mantra. iPhone sales have plummeted in 2016, and as a response to the decline in sales, new CEO Tim Cook took a pay cut to compensate for the company’s loss.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves after a product launch event on October 27, 2016
[Image by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]

According to a company filing done Friday, January 6, Tim Cook cut nearly $2 million ($1,533,608, to be exact) out of his pay in 2016. In comparison to 2015, where he gained approximately $1 million ($1,058,689, to be exact), that’s an estimated 30 percent increase in pay cut for the chief executive officer of a large company like Apple. Mr. Cook is not the only one taking a pay cut, though.

Apple’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, Luca Maestri, took a 10 percent pay cut, going from $25,337,977 in 2015 to $22,803,569 in 2016. Though still making more than the CEO, Maestri still lost a significant portion of his pay in 2016. And it seems other high-ranking Apple executives took approximately a 10 percent pay cut as well, hoping to curb the consistent decline in iPhone sales over the course of 2016.

Looking at a chart of iPhone sales by Statista since the original release of the iPhone in 2007, the handset continued to increase in sales all the way up until Q2 of 2016, just before the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The current iPhone on the market at that time was the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (as well as the previous iteration — the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus — and a few other older devices like the iPhone SE), and total iPhone sales for Q1 and Q2 of 2016 were approximately 125.97 million. In Q3, iPhone sales took a nose dive, dropping to an alarming 40.4 million. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Q3 (September 23, to be exact), but there wasn’t enough data to include its total sales in the entirety of Q3. Therefore, looking at Q4 — the newest iPhones were out for roughly four months by the end of Q4 — total sales of the iPhone were at 45.51 million, up from the measly 40.4 million of Q3. This means, the total sales for the iPhone in the whole of 2016 was 211.88 million. While that sounds impressive, and it is, comparing that to 2015’s 231.22 million iPhone sales — a decrease of about 9 percent — it’s evident the iPhone isn’t as captivating as it once was.

All of this doesn’t take into account the other devices Apple sells. For example, Apple’s Mac lineup didn’t do too hot in 2016: The total Mac sales — MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iMacs, Macs, etc. — in 2016 were at 18,484 units. In 2015, total Mac sales were at 20,586, showcasing a decline of about 10 percent. Apple’s iPads have been struggling in 2016, too: the total iPad sales — iPads, iPad Minis, iPad Pros, etc. — in 2016 were at 45.59 million. In 2015, total iPad sales were at 54.85 million, displaying a decline of about 17 percent.

The new iPhone 7 is displayed on a table at an Apple store in Manhattan on September 16, 2016
[Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

As per usual, copious rumors are beginning to orbit around the iPhone 8 and the forthcoming iPads, and they all run the gamut of a bezel-less screen to wireless charging to eliminating the home button altogether. Whatever Apple plans to do with their next series of devices, the tech giant better hope these wow customers — otherwise, 2017 may see Apple’s sales decline once again and employees taking another pay cut.

[Featured Image by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]