“Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments about slowing iPhone upgrade rates depressing sales got some backing from a new survey of customers,” Aaron Pressman reports for Fortune.
“People who own an iPhone are waiting three months longer to upgrade to a new phone than they did three years ago, according to surveys done by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, or CIRP,” Pressman reports. “That’s consistent with what Cook said in April… The Apple AAPL 1.02% upgrade rate had actually accelerated in 2014 and 2015, when the iPhone 6 line was released, but then fell back significantly, CIRP reported. In the middle of 2013, only one-third of all iPhones were more than two years old, but as the rate of upgrades has slowed, the figure rose to 49% by the end of the first quarter of this year.”
“Smartphone owners used to get their phones for a lot less than the phones actually cost but mobile carriers have been phasing out subsidies as quickly as they can the past few years,” Pressman reports. “That sparked a debate. Would the end of the subsidies — and the promise of a new phone every two years — prompt customers to upgrade less frequently? Or would new promotional plans from Apple and the carriers allowing for upgrades after just one year prompt even quicker upgrades?”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Or, perhaps, neither. Maybe the iPhone 6s series simply isn’t compelling enough?
It certainly doesn’t help that Apple continued their ill-conceived “S” naming scheme which basically tags the iPhone 6s series right upfront as “No Big Deal This Year. Nothing Much to See Here. Move Along.”
Death to the S!
Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already.
iPhone “S” years usher in hugely significant features, such as oleophobic displays, significant GPU improvements, world phone capability, Siri personal assistant, video stabilization, panorama photos, 64-bit processors, TD-LTE support, Touch ID, and 3D Touch, among other improvements and additions. Each year’s iPhone deserves its own number. By not doing so, Apple is shooting itself in the foot; handicapping iPhones with an “S” every other year. Why Tim Cook or Phil Schiller haven’t put an end to this stupid – yes, stupid – “S” naming is inexplicable. Why don’t you just name it “iPhone No Big Deal This Year,” Tim and Phil?
Here’s what you say onstage and in the press release when there’s no “iPhone 7s” and you jump directly from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8: “The improvements are such that the new iPhone deserves its own number.” Period. Done. Mission accomplished. It’s your naming convention, Apple, and you can correct your stupid mistake at any time. — MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015
Apple should strive to execute annual iPhone updates, in three display sizes if the SE is successful (which we think it will be), and drop the off-year “S” model concept. Apple is certainly big enough and rich enough to do a new iPhone family each and every year. Apple should have killed the tock year “S” model idea years ago.
What’s happened with iPhone is painfully obvious: Apple was at least a year (more likely two years) late with properly-sized iPhones. When iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus finally, blessedly materialized, buyers quite literally stampeded to get them. Then, when faced with such a “tough compare” this year, Apple was still sticking with their ill-conceived “S” model concept – making the tough compare much, much tougher.
The “iPhone 7” family – three models with the same case design and all with 3D Touch — comprised of the 4-inch iPhone 7 SE, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus — should have debuted last September. That would have taken care of the current tough compare with iPhone 6/Plus. Then, this year, the iPhone 8 family, again with a new case design, but now waterproof, with dual cameras, etc. would debut this September. In 2017, perhaps Liquidmetal and AMOLED will be ready go for the iPhone 9. Etcetera. No more “S” years, Apple. Duh.
Had Apple done as we’ve just described, they’d have sold millions more iPhone units this year and millions upon millions more each year going forward.
Apple’s raison d’être is to delight customers. “S” model “tock” year iPhones do not delight customers in the same way as new “tick” year models. Obviously. They’re still the best smartphones on the planet, but they’re just okay. A bit of a meh. We all know that “S” models exist so Apple can wring out nice margins from existing designs and tooling, not expressly to delight customers. When Apple strays from its main goal is when things get wobbly. Just delight customers, Apple, and the world will beat a path to your door.
If we didn’t work for MacDailyNews, we’d have skipped the iPhone 6s Plus and held onto our iPhone 6 Plus units with no qualms – and we’re the most rabid Day One iPhone buyers you’ll ever find.
Why have an annual iPhone upgrade program, if you’re not going to wow us annually with new iPhones? — MacDailyNews, April 12, 2016