Stage set for iPhone 7; will the new Apple smartphone live up to the hype?
The iPhone 7 is expected to make its global debut on Wednesday, but many consumers and investors are already setting their sights on Apple Inc`s 2017 version of the popular gadget, hoping for more significant advances.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/New York: The iPhone 7 is expected to make its global debut on Wednesday, but many consumers and investors are already setting their sights on Apple Inc`s 2017 version of the popular gadget, hoping for more significant advances.
The rumor mill has been grinding away with talk of iPhone 7 models that will boast faster chips, more sophisticated cameras, and improved software while doing away with jacks for plugging in wired headphones.
To watch the livestreaming of the event today, log on to the following link.
The event will start at following timings
1 pm (New York timing)
6 pm (London timing)
3 am –on September 8 (Sydney timing)
10.30 pm (India timing)
The anxious wait ends today
At its annual product launch in San Francisco on Wednesday, the world`s most valuable publicly traded company is expected by blogs and analysts to reveal an iPhone without a headphone jack, paving the way for wireless headphones, a touch-sensitive home button that vibrates, double-lens cameras for the larger `Plus` edition and other incremental improvements.
Apple typically gives its main product, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, a big makeover every other year and the last major redesign was the iPhone 6, in 2014. The modest updates suggest that this cycle will be three years.
“It looks like part of the reason they are keeping the design the same this year is there are bigger changes they are working on for next year,” said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research, AFP quoted.
Sales of the iPhone dropped two quarters in a row this year, the first declines in the history of the device. With many consumers who purchased the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due for an upgrade, Apple may eke out single-digit gains in sales for the 7, Dawson said.
But some consumer technology sites are advising users to hold off on upgrading until the next year’s version, which will mark the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone.
Analysts say the iPhone 8 may feature a wider display that reaches from one edge of the device to the other and a home button integrated into the screen.
Wall Street is impatient for growth, and Apple will be hard-pressed to reverse the downward trend this year, said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.
“The iPhone 7 runs the risk of disappointing investors,” he said.
Consumers are waiting longer before replacing their phones, a shift that Apple must address in its product roadmap, said analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.
Analysts predict the Apple Watch will be the second closely watched feature of the event. Apple is expected to revamp the wearable, released last year, with a faster processor and a GPS chip, enabling users to track runs and other workouts without their phones. Most analysts believe sales of Apple`s watch - which the company has not disclosed - have not yet justified the fanfare.
Starting at $299, well above many other wearables on the market, the most meaningful change Apple can make is a price cut, Bajarin said.
“This category is very price sensitive,” he said. Apple is "not there yet."
Top-selling iPhone --Any guesses?
Apple`s iPhone 6s was the world`s top-selling smartphone model in the second quarter of 2016, a report said on Wednesday, adding that the US giant currently accounts for two of the three top-selling smartphone models shipped worldwide.
Apple shipped 14.2 million units and accounted for four percent share of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q2 2016, IANS qouting market research firm Strategy Analytics.
"Apple`s iPhone 6s is currently the world`s most popular smartphone. The iPhone 6s is wildly popular in dozens of countries globally, due to its attractive hardware design blended with rich features such as 4K video, large multi-touch display and fingerprint security," informed Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.
Total global smartphone shipments grew one percent annually from 338.0 million units in Q2 2015 to 341.5 million in Q2 2016.
"Smartphone growth is sluggish at the moment due to ongoing economic volatility worldwide, high ownership penetration in most major countries, and a lack of new innovation from device manufacturers," added Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics.
The Apple iPhone 6 shipped 8.5 million units worldwide for second position and 2 percent marketshare during Q2 2016, followed by Samsung Galaxy S7 edge in third place with 8.3 million and 2 percent share.
"Apple iPhone 6 has been on sale for almost two years and it remains near the top of best-seller lists in many regions like Europe. Samsung`s Galaxy S7 edge has proven popular among high-end consumers and its curved hardware design has given the firm a differentiator," noted Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.
Apple ups iPhone 7 production
Apple seems confident that its next generation iPhone 7 is going to be a huge success as the company has reportedly increased orders of the components needed to manufacture the handset by 10 percent.
"It is also well known that non `s` year variants of iPhone create more excitement and have performed well than `s` variants, which the company also experiences year-on-year," The Next Web reported on Tuesday.
The timing of the move is interesting as Samsung had announced the global recall of its flagship premium device Galaxy Note 7 over battery faults and Apple is hoping to steal a number of its loyal customers.
Although the exact reason for the increase in demand remains is still unclear.
"On the other hand, it is safe to say that it has something to do with the average sales of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that Apple faced when it launched the devices this time last year," the report added.
With Agency Inputs