If there’s a law in life that is rock solid and unchangeable, it’s that things change. Back in the day we would buy a new iPhone and get a new two-year contract with a cell phone carrier. That changed. Now cell phone carriers– and Apple– will rent a new phone separate from our cell phone plan.
The tick and the tock of that cycle has changed.
Today, even Apple has an iPhone upgrade program which lets you pay by the month to get a new iPhone every year. And every year Apple would surprise the masses with a major upgrade to the world’s favorite smartphone.
The iPhone’s tick and tock cycle started way back when. iPhone 4 became iPhone 4s. iPhone 5 became iPhone 5s. Even now we have iPhone 6 and 6s models, but thanks to the larger screen iPhone Plus, and the new diminutive iPhone SE, we have more models from which to choose.
A recent online survey displayed iPhone buying habits. Barely 1-percent of iPhone users get more than one iPhone per year, while more than 6-percent picked up a new iPhone every year.
The largest group of iPhone upgraders mirrored the 24-month cell phone plans. Nearly 50-percent upgraded every two years, almost 25-percent every three years, and about 20-percent would keep their iPhones for at least three years before upgrading to something new.
The biggest jump in iPhone sales in recent years occurred with iPhone 6, specifically because Apple introduced two larger screen iPhones (4.7-inch for iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch for iPhone 6 Plus). There was plenty of pent-up demand for a larger screen iPhone and sales reflected that demand as Apple’s unit sales, revenue, and profits broke records each quarter.
That was then and this is now.
It’s 2016 and the world eagerly awaits a new iPhone 7. But what if the rumors are true and iPhone 7 looks more or less exactly like iPhone 6 and 6s? That’s tick, tock, tock. Will the nearly 50-percent of iPhone users who upgrade to a new iPhone every two years still upgrade in 2016-2017?
Survey Says! Maybe not.
A whopping 80-percent in the survey noted above said they would not be likely to upgrade to a new iPhone 7 if the design was much the same as the iPhone 6 and 6s series.
Rumors circulating the blogosphere tell us the outward design and appearance of iPhone 7 may be remarkably similar to iPhone 6 and 6s. That doesn’t bode well for exciting the masses– at least 50-percent of them that upgrade every two years– to buy a new iPhone.
Rumors circulating the blogosphere are all over the map this cycle, with some expecting a name change to iPhone 8 (instead of iPhone 7) because changes are so massive, while others expect an iPhone 7 Pro model with dual cameras and a larger storage option to be introduced.
We may have hit peak iPhone; that spot in the space time continuum where changes and improvements to smartphones mirror those in the Mac and Windows PC space– incremental improvements instead of massive jumps and leaps into new technology.
Such surveys are interesting but shouldn’t be taken as a roadmap of a future product where only Apple knows the details.