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Apple is expected to announce a major milestone tonight

But it may not help it reverse a slowdown in iPhone sales.

Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

SINCE IT WAS first announced back in 2007, the iPhone has been a consistent performer in the smartphone market, and has been one of Apple’s most lucrative products.

Fast forward to today and it’s expected Apple’s smartphone range will have crossed the one billion mark.

It’s expected that the milestone will be announced at its third-quarter earnings call which will take place tonight. The Financial Times originally reported it would likely have sold 13 million iPhones this month which would bring it over the mark.

The iPhone makes up more than two-thirds of Apple’s revenue, despite the company launching new products like the iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. In the previous quarter, the iPhone generated $32.9 billion in revenue, selling 51 million units, while the next biggest product, the Mac, generated $5.1 billion with 4 million units sold.

Despite it dominating the smartphone market, a fall in iPhone sales between January to March led to Apple’s first revenue decline in 13 years. Apple attributed much of the fall to a struggling Chinese economy, which is the second-largest market in the world for Apple products behind the US.

Also, the saturation of the market, with cheaper Android devices flooding the market and rivals like Samsung upping their game, meant it was harder for Apple to convince people to upgrade sooner.

It’s expected this earnings call would also show a decline, predicting revenue to range between $41 billion and $43 billion.

As a way of reversing slowing iPhone sales, Apple launched the iPhone SE in March, a 4-inch device designed to appeal to users who weren’t keen on upgrading to the larger iPhone 6s and 6s Plus range.

Influence

Advertised as a combination of a mobile phone, an iPod and internet device, the original iPhone became the cornerstone of how smartphones are developed now. Apple announced it had sold its one millionth iPhone 74 days after it launched and it sold its billionth iOS device (iPhone and iPad) back in November 2014.

Earlier this year, Apple revealed that more than one billion of its devices are in active use today, including iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV to name a few, but it has been facing serious challenges with smartphone sales.

Read: Nintendo slumps after investors realise it won’t make much money from Pokémon Go >

Read: iPhone and Mac users: there’s a serious security bug you need to fix now >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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