Racked with monologophobia (fear of repeating the same word), Apple watchers habitually write "iPhone maker". With the rumoured Apple car still stuck in the corporate garage and no other gadget to command the world’s attention, there are few other good synonyms. The iPhone has accounted for more than 50% of Apple’s revenues since 2013; in the last quarter — boosted by new models — the device reached a record 69.7% of the company’s sales, contributing almost $62bn. Impressive though this is, there is a rational fear that one day the iPhone will die. This quarter is unlikely to signal the iPhone’s demise — Apple is expected to report almost 54-million iPhone units when it reports results on May 1. But negative news from suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, sent Apple shares down 7% last Thursday and Friday, the worst two-day performance in more than a year. The much-vaunted iPhone "super cycle", in which consumers were supposed to rush to upgrade to new iPhone 8s and...

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