The iPhone 7 hasn't even been officially acknowledged by Apple yet and there's already talk that it will fall flat with customers. According to a survey of iPhone users by Quartz, less than 10% would be likely or extremely likely to upgrade to the new iPhone if it doesn't arrive sporting a redesign – which is expected to be the case.
No doubt there is already many a furrowed brow over at Apple HQ. Demand for the iPhone is slowing, with sales of Apple's handsets falling 15% in its most recent quarter. A new iPhone sporting a fresh design might go some way to buck the resulting decline in profits, however most rumours circulating around Apple's upcoming device point to a handset very similar in form to the iPhone 6 and 6S.
If true, Quartz's survey will prove troubling reading for Cook and his team. More than three-quarters of respondents said they were either "not so likely" or "not at all likely" to upgrade to the iPhone 7 – or whatever Apple plans to call this year's model – if it doesn't sport a redesign. By comparison, just 9.3% of survey respondents said they were either "very likely" or "extremely likely" to upgrade their iPhone if there isn't a redesigned model in 2016.
From what we've gathered from the various whispers and the occasional "leaked" image from the rumour mill, Apple is sticking closely to its iPhone 6 and 6S style guide for its 2016 device, before a big refresh for the iPhone 8 in 2017 to celebrate the iPhone's 10-year anniversary. We've been told to expect an all-glass design, dual camera and some eye-scanning technology amongst other smarts, to be taken with the prescribed pinch of salt as always.
This could also signal a new upgrade cycle from Apple, from introducing a refreshed iPhone every two years to every three years. Quartz's results revealed that 70% of iPhone users said they were extremely, very, or somewhat likely to adjust their upgrade pattern accordingly, which would mean fewer iPhone sales.
It's worth noting that Quartz's survey only contained the responses of 525 people, and online surveys of such a small size don't necessarily reflect the attitudes of the wider population. Nevertheless, Apple's own numbers speak for themselves: love for the iPhone is on the wane, and Cupertino could have a rocky few years ahead of it.
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