In a note to investors (as obtained by Business Insider) from BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long and his team, the iPhone 7 is “sitting in front of a massive wave of untapped sales.”
Long says Apple has the largest base of existing users it has ever had, and those whose phones are at least two years old form the largest percentage of those users in years. Twenty-five percent of the "installed user base" is poised for an upgrade, the analyst believes. That’s an audience of 120 million phones.
According to Business Insider, Long went back through the history of all iPhone sales and calculated that on average 17% of users upgrade as soon as the next year's model comes out; 58% upgrade a year after that; and 22% the year after that. Only 2% of users hang on longer. However, the analyst predicts that the iPhone 7, “will launch into a tidal swell of older iPhone users that will be much bigger than the one that bouyed the iPhone 6 to record sales.”
The iPhone 7 is expected to arrive this fall. Depending on which rumors you believe it will: ditch the headphone jack for Lightning and Bluetooth speakers; have a 2-3x optical zoom; have a dual back camera; sport a Smart Connector; ditch the Home button; support wireless charging; be waterproof and dust proof; and be able to levitate at your command (okay, I made the last one up). And, as you probably know, the images accompanying this article are merely fanciful mock-ups.