Monday, September 20, 2021
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You’ll hear a lot about how boring the iPhone 13 is, but Apple is still poised to continue its sales super cycle


Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner

Supply: Apple Inc.

It could have a brand new quantity within the identify, however Apple’s new iPhone 13 appears extra like one of many firm’s “S” fashions than anything.

Apple has launched iPhone fashions on a tick-tock cycle for a lot of the product’s existence. The “tick” years sometimes supply new designs and contemporary options, and the “tock” years hold issues largely the identical, however with enhancements to issues like pace and battery life. (These are the “S” fashions.)

However the iPhone 13 was revealed on Tuesday, as an alternative of an iPhone 12S, with simply incremental upgrades over final 12 months’s mannequin. That explains why Apple spent a lot of the presentation speaking about features like battery life and improvements to the camera. There wasn’t a lot else new over final 12 months’s mannequin to brag about.

You may see plenty of commentary flying round this week about how the iPhone 13 is boring, lackluster or only a minor improve over final 12 months’s mannequin. There’s plenty of reality to that. But it surely additionally ignores the truth of the place we’re in smartphone expertise.

Everybody from Apple to Samsung to Motorola has come to the purpose the place it takes greater than only a 12 months to develop a key, breakthrough characteristic. And that is OK for the overwhelming majority of their clients. Smartphones have gotten so good that folks can hold them for 3 years or extra with out feeling behind. So even when a brand new mannequin seems like a minor improve from the 12 months earlier than, that improve is much more important to somebody utilizing a mannequin that is three or 4 years outdated.

Plenty of the information seems to again that up. Analysts at Wedbush predicted Tuesday that Apple remains to be in the midst of its “tremendous cycle” of iPhone gross sales that kicked off final 12 months with the iPhone 12, which launched new options like a contemporary design and 5G mobile knowledge connections.

“Apple stays within the midst of its strongest general product cycle in roughly a decade,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a notice to buyers Tuesday. He added that there are an estimated 250 million iPhone homeowners with fashions over three years outdated.

That is a large pool of potential clients prepared for an improve.

The lesson: If you are going to consider a brand new iPhone and what it means for gross sales, it is vital to zoom in and take a look at the previous couple of years as an alternative of evaluating it to the earlier 12 months’s mannequin. That is what the shoppers who’re truly going to purchase this stuff will likely be doing.



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