If you agree that the average lifecycle of any smartphone is around two years, I'd like to introduce you to some interesting insights from Jackdaw Research analyst, Jan Dawson. He's been looking at the potential of the iPhone 7 upgrade cycle.
It is difficult to estimate accurate iPhone sales figures by model, but we have previously been told that iPhone 6/6 Plus units were adopted more rapidly than the 6S series. When released in 2014, they sold four million in four hours, Apple has confirmed. The smartphone set new records.
Pointing out that Apple watchers have a tendency to see the iPhone upgrade cycle as an annual event, Dawson counters that for most people it's a two-year cycle. And now, two years on, many smartphone (and iPhone) consumers are in the market for a new phone - and Apple has the iPhone Upgrade Program to encourage them to upgrade to an iPhone 7 today the easy way.
Change the perspective
Dawson points out that any iPhone 6 owner who upgrades to an iPhone 7 will see some significant improvements: More memory and a faster processor, certainly - but also the introduction of 3D Touch, Live Photos, 4K video, faster Touch ID plus all the headline Siri and hardware improvements Apple hasn't even announced yet (such as more base storage, for example). Dawson expands on his positions in his podcast, which you can download and listen to here.
There will also be (we hear) significant camera improvements, Touch ID improvements, significantly faster processors - and a chance to try the company's new wireless EarBuds. The latter won't excite everyone, until other users begin to say how great (or not great) these things are.
I'm no Steve Jobs, but I reckon the success of the Earbuds will depend on both how good the microphone turns out to be and if you can go jogging without them falling out and you losing them. I do hope Apple's legendary design department figured that out before I did.
I'm relatively confident that if the company can create a great customer experience, then the biggest negative about pre-release hype surrounding iPhone 7 will quickly become one of the biggest positives. People make decisions at the end of the day. Pundits don't.
Think back and you may recall that Apple sold a total of 183.17 million iPhones (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c) in the first three quarters after launching iPhone 6. As is usual, iPhone sales then slowed pending the 6S.
If you think about those 183.17 million iPhones then it is easy to realize that many of those customers will be looking to the launch of iPhone 7 in full expectation of more memory and a faster processor, the introduction of 3D Touch, Live Photos, 4K video, faster Touch ID plus all those hardware improvements Apple hasn't even announced yet (see above).
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