Apple is due to release the iPhone 7 in 2016, with smartphone consumers anticipating a genuine revolution in what is an absolutely iconic brand. No-one would reasonably contest the assertion that the iPhone has been essential to the stratospheric success of the consumer electronics giant, and has probably above all else played a role in Apple becoming one of the most recognizable companies in the world.
Indeed, one token of the brand penetration and awareness that Apple has achieved was its displacing of Coca-Cola from the apex of the authoritative Interbrand listing. However, the Interbrand survey is also illustrative of some of the difficulties that Apple faces in the foreseeable future.
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For example, Coca-Cola has now also been overtaken by the ubiquitous search engine Google, with the corporation closing rapidly on Apple at the top of the branding list. This might not sound like a disaster for the California-based corporation, but the fact that Google has succeeded it as the company with the world’s largest market capitalization is more indicative of a general malaise.
The Apple share price has slumped over the last few months, as investors remain sceptical about two issues that Apple must circumnavigate in the future. Firstly, Apple has struggled to demonstrate to the city that it is capable of generating significant new revenue streams that can carry the core business of the Cupertino-based company forward. And possibly more importantly, investors are also extremely sensitive to the fact that Apple remains hugely reliant on the iconic iPhone range. As a matter of fact, the iPhone is still responsible for approximately two-thirds of the total revenue of the company.
This sort of reliance is never exactly desirable, but Apple has made certain concessions in the last year also that mean this information becomes more serious. Despite the fact that the consumer electronics behemoth intends to release a brand new, next generation, seriously exciting iPhone 7 in 2016, the company has, at the same time, also conceded that it will sell less units in 2016 than it did last year.
First since 2007
While this may seem like the sort of the dip in fortune that occurs regularly, it would in fact be the first time that Apple has failed to increase sales since the release of its first smartphone back in 2007. And with Apple still hugely reliant on the iPhone for revenue generation, this certainly represents a significant threat to the future of the business and its trading mechanisms.
With this in mind, Apple quite simply needs to deliver a stonking iPhone 7. It goes without saying that the iPhone 7 will be an extremely competent smartphone; Apple products simply always are. This isn’t the most successful handset in the history of the industry for no reason. But recent iPhone releases have been a little underwhelming, and there have even being accusations of the most recent iPhone 6s being somewhat boring. Competent, yes, inspiring…probably not.
Furthermore, Apple is being challenged more thoroughly by Samsung in 2016, with the recent Galaxy S7 having impressed that both consumers and critics. This was a beautifully engineered smartphone, which indicated that the Korean technology giant is back on form in the smartphone marketplace. Analysts have already indicated that the Samsung flagship performs in superior fashion to its iPhone rival in the camera department, and it is perhaps only the still unsurpassed iOS operating system and the combination of Apple’s proprietary hardware and software that enables the iPhone to remain ahead of its great rival.
So what can Apple do with the iPhone 7 to make it truly stand out from the crowd, astound consumers, and get people talking about the iPhone range in glowing terms once more? Several new features have already been linked with the iPhone 7, and one of the most plausible to begin with is the introduction of wireless headphones. Apple will eliminate the standard headphones jack in the iPhone 7, enabling people to enjoy music without plugging into the actual device.
Elsewhere, ever since the iPhone 7 was first rumored, Apple has been linked with introducing some outstanding camera technology into the iPhone range. This will now become particularly necessary following the revelation of dual-pixel technology in the Galaxy S7, which greatly enhances the ability of the smartphone to take pictures in darker conditions.
Apple could respond by introducing a DSLR snapper when the iPhone 7 is released, but more likely is that the company will debut its own dual-camera technology. Apple could also pump up the megapixel rating of the lens included in the iPhone 7, which would actually see the smartphone exceed the Galaxy S range for the first time in many years. Improved optical zoom could also be included in the camera’s functionality.
Additionally, Apple must make a significant leap in battery life, as it is being left behind by Samsung in this department. There is no doubt that this is a challenge for the California-based corporation, and indeed the hierarchy of the company has already indicated that it will not Compromise what it considers to be particularly important elements of the iPhone in order to fit a larger battery. But there have been many complaints about the paltry battery life included in the iPhone range, and this must surely be addressed in 2016.
Wireless charging should also be included, particularly as it is already resident in the Samsung Galaxy range. Samsung devices also charge faster than the iPhone, and the iPhone 7 should also address this failing.
Other new features
Edge-to-edge displays, a new curved iPhone 7, and a quad HD phablet version are among the other suggestions that Apple could utilize in order to reinvigorate this smartphone series. Apple should also consider implementing sapphire glass for the first time, in order to produce a more durable unit, particularly as this material is now being used in the manufacturing of the Apple Watch.
The iPhone 7 has the potential to be a massive step forward over the existing iPhone versions, and Apple must surely push the boat out this time in order to achieve this. And considering the state of the company and the smartphone marketplace in general, this would seem to be a necessity rather than merely preferable.