There is a time honored adage that applies to sports and the technology industry. “Wait’ll next year.” The reference to sports generally applies to a team that had a bad season, so waiting until next year gives some hope for the future.
How about applying the same adage to technology? Every gadget we buy, whether from Apple or elsewhere, improves year over year. Some may decry the fact that iPhone XS looks the same as iPhone X from last year, but the reality is obvious. Much of the new iPhone XS and XS Max is an improvement from the older iPhone X models.
What? Camera for one. Speed for another. iPhone XS battery life is improved over iPhone X. Plus, every iPhone for the past four or five years gets an improvement every year with new versions of iOS.
So, why wait until next year for a new and better iPhone?
Apple’s 2019 iPhones won’t be a good upgrade and this is why
First up, the argument’s premise is stupid even before coming up with details. There is no way Sulleyman or any market analyst can determine what is a good upgrade without knowing what I might be upgrading from.
Second, neither Sulleyman nor the quoted analyst knows what features or functions Apple plans for iPhone models in 2019, let alone 2020. Guesstimator Anne Lee from Nomura:
We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture, in preparation for initial hardware specs for 5G (sub-6GHz) and AR (augmented reality), before greater architecture upgrades in 2020F for 5G and a more comprehensive AR system.
Simply put, Lee is not expecting much differentiation between 2018’s iPhone models and 2019’s iPhone models. Fact? Or, fiction?
You can expect next year’s batch of new iPhones to be very similar − and possibly look identical to − this year’s batch of new iPhones.
Except for iPhone XR, that was the case with iPhone X and iPhone XS. Nothing new. Nothing to see here. Move along. Oh, except for the improved camera and faster CPU and a host of other functions Apple improved (as it does each year).
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR aren’t selling as well as Apple had hoped they would and, at least right now, sticking with more of the same doesn’t appear to be the best strategy in the world.
Not much in the way of facts in evidence, but let’s go with the flow and recognize we live in different times than iPhone generations past, and Apple is required to promote and discount iPhone models. The mistaken premise is obvious. “More of the same won’t sell more of the same to Apple’s customer base.”
What about those iPhone customers who bought iPhone 6s or 6s Plus a few years ago? Will they upgrade? Or, those who bought iPhone 7 and 7 Plus a year later? Will they need an upgrade to an iPhone that does everything better?
Apple’s executives know that every year iPhone needs to be improved because there is a large and growing segment of the customer base that needs and wants new models and whether or not the iPhone this year looks like iPhone from last year doesn’t matter.
Technology advances in such a way that we cannot just “Wait’ll next year” every year. Next year is always better. At some point customers will have to buy and Apple’s iPhone sales have been flat for four years, so it looks as if customers have already figured out the upgrade routine themselves, short sighted technology writers and market analysts not withstanding.