“When the Nikkei report that Apple would move iPhone to a three year refresh cycle appeared on May 31, I found it so ludicrous that I decided to simply ignore it,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “I had already written about the Nikkei’s gratuitous trashing of the iPhone 7 a couple of weeks before. I didn’t think that this latest rumor was even worth writing about.”
“Why do the rumors consistently ignore Apple’s innovation in semiconductors? This would seem to be a glaring omission, considering that Apple took the industry by surprise when it introduced the first 64 bit ARM smartphone processor in 2013 (for the iPhone 5s),” Hibben writes. “Most importantly, Apple doesn’t just license designs from ARM Holdings, but does its own ground up designs that consistently outperform its industry peers. Apple has been producing fresh SOC designs every year, regardless of whether the iPhone is an “s” generation. The next SOC for iPhone 7 will likely put Apple ahead of the pack again. With competitors such as Samsung and Huawei also scratch-designing their own SOCs, Apple couldn’t possibly put this element of the iPhone on a three year refresh cycle.”
“TSMC has all but made it an open secret that it is working on InFO for Apple’s next SOC, slated to go into iPhone 7. This will be the first ever use of InFO in a high volume mobile device. InFO will allow an overall reduction in the size and thickness of the current circuit card assembly in the iPhone,” Hibben writes. “Apple is already doing annual design refreshes for the critical components of iPhone: the operating system and processor. So why is Apple supposed to fall back to a three year cycle? Because it can’t afford a one year cycle? Come on. The sensible conclusion is that Apple is moving to a one year cycle.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Death to the S!
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
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