In an effort to spike stalling sales growth, Apple Inc. released a new iPhone on Wednesday. However, despite its latest innovations, it may prove difficult to sway customers to get on the upgrade.
Despite the Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s newest product being packed with enhancements and updates, analysts are of the opinion that the iPhone 7 may be missing the wow factor from previous editions.
Tuong H. Nguyen, a personal technologies analyst at Gartner Inc. said, “I don’t feel the 7 is going to hit as hard as the 6 or the 5,” adding that, “It’s almost a victim of its own success. … I’m not sure I can grasp how much better it is than this other thing you’re offering.”
Of a fact, building on past success will be a hard task. The iPhone 5, 5s and 6s models showed great sales and saw Apple sell its billionth handset earlier this summer. The most notable updates in those devices were the transformation of the iPhone form factor- they got bigger, thinner, lighter and faster.
On the surface, the iPhone 7 does not reveal any major changes. However, the biggest alterations which are the removal of the common 3.5-millimetre headphone jack and the replacement of the mechanical home button with a buzzing panel could be seen as anti-user-friendly.
“Some people asked why we would remove the headphone jack,” said Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller during the company’s staged event in San Francisco. “One word: courage.”
Included in the phone box, Apple has added a Lightning-to-analog adapter. This is a first for a company that previously was in the business of making floppy disks,32-pin connectors and optical CD drives obsolete without a major concern for its abandoned users. Now, users can keep their old analog audio devices for a while.
The limelight on the iPhone 7 will be upbeat, which also possesses camera upgrades, faster processor and a new resistance to both water and dust.
Although the iPhone demand in recent quarters had been slowly on the decline, partly because of the drag between product launches, the device is still the company’s biggest source of Apple’s revenue. The iPhone is surrounded by an ecosystem of products, including the Apple TV to the Apple Watch which is designed to work together with it.
The new models will play a significant role in the coming holiday quarter, with the technology giant’s expecting it to boost sales ahead of a refurbishment of the line in 2017, the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.
According to research firm IDC, compared to 15.8 percent in 2015 and an estimated 14.2 percent in 2020, Apple’s smartphone market share is likely to drop to 13.9 percent this year. It also predicts slower growth in total smartphone sales as consumers upgrade less regularly.
China has posed a competition to Apple’s performance this year as local rivals produce cheaper phones with similar functionality. Apple’s fiscal third-quarter sales fall in Asia’s top economy was larger than the revenue decline in the Americas and Europe put together. The case would have been worse if not for the iPhone SE, a cheaper version released in March to boost sales ahead of the iPhone 7.
It has been rather easy to overhype the latest details of an iPhone announcement. However, following several quarters of declining sales, the notion, this time, has gone towards over-criticizing. The most obvious of the criticisms is that although the phone maintains its basic dimensions of the 2015 edition, the premium pricing is still the same. The phone gets more costly with optional and sold-separately wireless AirPod earphones.
Prices in Canada will open at $899 for the 32 GB iPhone 7, but increases to $1,309 for the 256 GB 7 Plus. The new wireless AirPods will be $219. That’s approximately a $1,530 bill, before taxes and plan, for the top-end iPhone experience.
According to IHS Markit senior analyst, Paul Erickson, wireless headphones prove to be an increasing category.
“We have wireless headphones at 22 per cent of North America’s headphone market by year end, and 20 per cent of Western Europe at year end (2016). Global annual shipment volume for 2016, total earbuds and headphones we put at 316 million units,” he said.
Apple’s AirPods are strong, with a personal onboard system on a chip, tap-sensing interface, remarkable microphones, but a weak five hours of listening battery. The headphones charge in a small pill-shaped carrying case you’ll have to carry along with you.
Beats, Apple’s subsidiary, the No. 3 headphone company by unit volume according to IHS, will be releasing larger format over-the-ear headphones, with about 24 hours of listening time.