Apple iPhone 7
Apple iPhone shipment reportedly expected to decline in 2016 Reuters

The iPhone shipment in 2016 could be lower than Apple's shipment in 2014, predicts well-known KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The data provided by Kuo suggests Apple is the only one among the top five smartphone manufacturers to see a dip in shipment year-over-year.

Apple, under the worst case scenario, would ship 190 million iPhones during 2016, as opposed to 193 million units shipped in 2014. In the best case scenario, the company could ship 205 million iPhones. This is lower than analysts' expectations, which is between 210 and 230 million units. The lower shipment suggests a decline of 18.1% and 11.6% year-over-year respectively, states the research note published by Kuo, a copy of which has been obtained by 9to5Mac.

The lower shipment of the iPhone could be due to a number of reasons. According to Kuo one reason is because of the poor impact the iPhone SE has made, although its shipment could rise from 12 million to 18 million.

Apple's major rival, Samsung is expected to ship 320 million units of phones, making a shipment growth of 1%, whereas Huawei could ship 122 million phones. Other manufacturers such as Oppo and Vivo are likely to ship 74 million and 64 million units respectively.

Revamped iPhone 7 design

In addition to that, Kuo does not see many attractive selling points for the iPhone 7, which according to him needs revamp and must incorporate new commercial features to grab the attention of the customers.

Apple could release a new iPhone variant with glass casing and AMOLED display in 2017, moving away from the IPS LCD display used in the current iPhone lineup. Kuo believes Apple will decide between glass, plastic and ceramic casing for its 2017 iPhone, but could ultimately go with the glass casing.

Kuo also suggests the upcoming iPhone will adopt a curved display, crafted into a curved glass body. He claims the iPhone will feature a "completely new form factor design", with more narrow bezels and a "more comfortable grip".

The company could also introduce a 5.8in iPhone in 2017 featuring an AMOLED display and incorporating a form factor that is ultimately smaller than the 5.5in iPhone. The 5.8in model will replace the 5.5in variants, which means there would only be 4.7in and 5.8in iPhones coming in 2017.