With falling iPhone sales in 2016, it’s been a tough year for the tech giant. In the lead up to its tenth anniversary, the only question now is – what’s next for Apple?
When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone back in 2007, many of us decided then and there that we needed to get our hands on one as fast as we could – despite the hefty price tag and not really knowing exactly what it could do. iPhone fever was born, and whether you’re an Apple fan or not, there’s no denying that the iPhone has completely changed the ways we interact with each other and consume information.
Apple has had the developed world on lock for some time, but companies are now turning their attention to emerging markets. Positioned on innovation with a price tag to match, the iPhone isn’t seeing as much success as Apple’s hoped for. Meanwhile, companies like Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi are bringing out functional smartphones with good technology for a significantly lower price – it’s no surprise they’re winning in emerging markets.
Maybe the future for Apple depends on the uptake of the iPhone SE and future ‘cheap’ iPhones. The iPhone SE is smaller than other iPhones and has almost identical features, but with a much more humble price tag. It’s not for everyone, but that’s the point – it’s aimed at new buyers in emerging markets. There’s no guessing how long Apple will be left behind when it comes to cheaper handsets and emerging markets, but they’re making some important first steps.
It’s no secret that Apple devotees are well, devoted. They line up in rain, hail or shine to get the newest model, write blogs about them, keep their iPhones within arm’s reach and get a glazed-over look when they talk about iOS. But if they’re that devoted, why aren’t they upgrading at the same speed as before?
Recent stats have shown that half of all iPhone owners haven't upgraded to the iPhone 6 or 6S. Why? Long-term contracts might have locked some devotees in with their current mobile provider for up to two years while they pay off their phone. Maybe we’ve just reached peak iPhone – the market is over-saturated and we literally can’t even buy anymore. Or, are weak exchange rates and fears of economic slowdown making us all hold on to our phones for much longer?
Critics are saying the problem lies with the handsets – they’re just not different enough to the models that came before, so there’s no motivation to upgrade.
So what about the iPhone 7?
The iPhone 7 launch is just around the corner, so there’s more chatter now than ever about what the folks at Apple have up their sleeves for us. Will we get hit with Apple fever again with the iPhone 7? Let’s take a look at what the newest flagship phone for Apple is rumoured to have to offer.
Slimmer Design and Better Sound
A really popular rumour doing the whip-around is that the iPhone 7 will be saying good-bye to the headphone jack in favour of a second speaker and a thinner body. While it’s not all doom-and-gloom for your well-loved and used headphones (you can expect there to be an adaptor for the lightning port to replace the headphone jack), some of us still have our reservations about the change to the hardware of the phone. In fact, the last major change to the hardware was when the iPhone 5 introduced us to the lightning port – remember, we were all left scrambling to get new chargers and adaptors?
Some changes to the body and hardware of the iPhone aren’t likely to spark Apple fever again, but it does keep things fresh and new. That said, I wouldn’t upgrade for a second speaker and an (even) slimmer handset.
This is one for any professional or budding photographer, but we’re not too surprised since every iPhone launch has seen an improvement to the camera specs, if not a complete change to the mobile photography experience. This time around we’re hearing rumours of a dual lens camera system that will sit flush to the body and give you slick, DSLR-like image quality – now that’s something to get us keen for an upgrade.
There are also rumours that the iPhone 7 will be water resistant, a feature which would help the clumsy and bring it up to speed with competitor’s models – no more putting your phone in a bowl of rice or cat litter to dry it out!
Apple is also planning to ramp the iPhone 7 power right up with speculation of an A10 6-core processor. This could mean it would be able to handle more commands and data at the same time – it’s essentially a multi-tasters dream.
Regardless if these rumours are true, the iPhone has a tough road ahead and Apple will have to pull out some serious tech wizardry to keep their top spot as industry innovators who “think differently”. But, after all - isn't that what they’re all about?
Bring on the iPhone 7 and the 10th anniversary of the iPhone!