However, on Tuesday the iPhone 13 was announced instead of the iPhone 12S, a gradual upgrade from last year’s model. That’s why Apple talks so much about features such as battery life and camera improvements in many of its presentations. Nothing else was so new compared to last year’s proud model.
Apple has released iPhone models on the TikTok cycle for most of the product’s existence. The “tick” year usually offers new designs and new features, and the “tick” year keeps things about the same, but improves speed, battery life, and so on. (These are “S” models.)
This week, there are a lot of comments that the iPhone 13 is boring, dull, and only a slight upgrade from last year’s model. There are many truths to it. But it also ignores the reality of where we are in smartphone technology.
A lot of data seems to support it. Wedbush analysts predicted on Tuesday that Apple was in the midst of a “super cycle” of iPhone sales that began with the iPhone 12. iPhone12 introduces new features such as a novel design and 5G cellular data connection.
From Apple to Samsung to Motorola, it’s now taken more than a year for everyone to develop important and groundbreaking features. And that’s okay for the majority of their customers. Smartphones have become so good that people can keep them for more than 3 years without feeling any delay. So even if the new model feels like a minor upgrade from the previous year, that upgrade is much more important to anyone using a model three to four years old.
“Apple is in the midst of the entire most powerful product cycle in about a decade,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors on Tuesday. He added that there are an estimated 250 million iPhone owners with models that are more than three years old.
This is a large pool of potential customers ready for upgrades.
Lesson: When assessing a new iPhone and what it means for sale, it’s important to zoom in to see the past few years, rather than comparing it to the previous year’s model. That’s what customers who are actually trying to buy these things do.