Apple has traditionally released a redesigned, updated version of its smartphone every other year. However, according to the rumor mill, the “iPhone 7” will look pretty much akin to the iPhone 6 and 6S. The rumor mill also claims that 2017’s “iPhone 8” will be a major overhaul of the smartphone in design and technology.
Quartz recently polled 525 US iPhone owners using SurveyMonkey Audience and found that many likely wouldn’t upgrade to a new phone this year if Apple doesn’t release a redesigned iPhone. “Under the current upgrade cycle, the average customer is upgrading their phone every two years, which means in a six-year period, they buy three new phones,” says Quartz. “If they switched to upgrading every three years, they would only buy two new phones in that same period. That could badly hurt Apple’s earnings.”
Personally, I’m expecting the iPhone 7 to be a hit even though I suspect its design will indeed be akin to that of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. I think the major hardware highlights will include expanded storage for all models and dual-camera specifically for the 5.5-inch model. What’s more, I think it will ditch the audio jack, a move that, while controversial, will make the next smartphone both waterproof and rustproof. Those attributes will be enough to convince many iPhone owners to upgrade.
What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Acuri says that continued focus on the upcoming iPhone (probably to be dubbed the “iPhone 7”) and its rumored lack of a major redesign is the wrong way to look at the big picture.
He thinks about a third of the iPhone installed base is currently running iPhone models that are greater than two years old. That's expected to grow to about 43% in the next four or five quarters; that's growth of between 60 million and 70 million.