Apple will drop its incremental “s” iPhone release next year in favor of jumping straight to the iPhone 8, claims Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz.
Moskowitz backs up previous suggestions that the iPhone that launches in 2017 will boast the biggest upgrade since 2014’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — with OLED displays and wireless charging, but lacking a physical home button. He predicts the massive revamp will lead to what he calls a “mega cycle” upgrade.
As for this year’s iPhone 7? He’s not so optimistic.
According to Moskowitz, the iPhone 7 will be “more of a replacement cycle” iPhone, in line with an incremental “s” release, than a full-blown reinvention. The main improvement is likely to be the elimination of the headphone jack (possibly in favor of some smart wireless EarPods), but nothing much else beyond the usual tweaks and component upgrades.
Based on this, the Barclays analyst thinks Apple will sell 1.8 percent fewer iPhones this year than it did in 2015. This is in contrast to an earlier prediction he made, suggesting that sales would pick up 2.6 percent for 2016.
It’s definitely an interesting move if Apple does decide to go with back-to-back years of incremental iPhone releases (with the 6s and 7), particularly at a time when iPhone sales are slowing down. Just to be clear, even 1.8 percent fewer iPhones sold in 2016 would still be an absolutely enormous number of iPhones: around 227 million iPhones by my count.
Still, if true, the change would show that Apple is perhaps feeling a bit less need to conform to its traditional biannual major upgrade cycle as schemes like its own iPhone Upgrade Program take off.
We’ll have to wait some time to find out for sure whether Moskowitz’s predictions are on the money. However, they do chime with recent reports from more-reliable-than-most Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a recent note to clients, Kuo suggested that the 2017-era iPhone will also sport an all-glass enclosure instead of its usual aluminum one.
Are you excited about the iPhone 7, or will you just save your money and go straight for the iPhone 8?