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The iPhone 6S has been a major disappointment for Apple

Hands on with the iPhone 6S

To say that Apple's iPhone 6S has failed to live up to expectations is an understatement.

The iPhone 6S has the dubious distinction of being the first iPhone ever to sell fewer models than its predecessor. And it's not underperforming the iPhone 6 by a little bit -- Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones last quarter, 10 million fewer than it sold during the first three months of 2015.

On a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said the percentage of customers who are upgrading from older iPhones to the iPhone 6S is way lower than the upgrade rate to the iPhone 6 from a year ago.

"I don't mean just a hair lower -- it's a lot lower," said Cook. "If we would have the same rate on iPhone 6S that we did iPhone 6, it would be time for a huge party. It would be a huge difference."

The iPhone 6S' poor performance dragged down Apple's overall sales last quarter, causing Apple's revenue to fall for the first time in 13 years.

Why the iPhone 6S has been a disappointment

In many ways, the iPhone 6S was destined to fail.

The iPhone 6S had a set of relatively unappealing upgrades compared to the iPhone 6. 3D Touch was its most...