Will the iPhone 7 Spark Sales Like Its Predecessors?

There's nothing a new iPhone can't fix. At least that's been true in the past for Apple Inc., which has for years used its marquee product to smash sales records, renew consumer excitement and reinforce its place as the most valuable company in the world.

But as Apple sales slumped this year for the first time in 13 years and growth hit a wall, analysts and industry experts are questioning whether the iPhone 7 -- which Apple is expected to announce Sept. 7 in San Francisco -- will stimulate growth like its predecessors.

"The big question for the industry is whether this upgrade cycle will offer enough features and functionality to get consumers to go to the next version of the iPhone," said Daniel Ives, senior vice president of corporate development at mobile tech firm Synchronoss Technologies. "Consumers used to upgrade their smartphones every 2.5 years, but now we're seeing an elongated upgrade cycle."

Analysts predict the new iPhone line won't be "revolutionary" -- its sizes, shapes and design are expected to closely resemble the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But customers can look forward to an improved "home" button and a dual lens camera, which would give the iPhone camera better low-light capabilities and improved depth of field.

"They're going to be attacking the highest end of the photography market," said Horace Dediu, an analyst and fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute think tank. "Apple more or less vanquished point-and-shoot cameras with the iPhone 5, so now we're moving into higher performance."

Another change that has kept the rumor mill churning is the predicted disappearance of the 3.5-millimeter earphone jack. Industry insiders surmise that Apple will replace its standard earphones with ones that plug into the company's proprietary lightning port, which doubles as a charging outlet. Or they may forgo the cord completely...

Comments are closed.