Apple is reportedly cutting the iPhone 7 production as consumers prefer to wait for the 2017 iPhone 8. Rumors around the 10th anniversary iPhone already have the loyal Apple fans excited about the device. But a bigger challenge for the next-gen iPhone would be to entice the loyal Android users. As the premium smartphone market saturates and the iPhone sales decline, the 2017 iPhone will have to attract a large number of Android loyalists to boost Apple’s revenues.
iPhone 8 would have attractive selling points
Apple is under immense pressure to deliver a blockbuster phone to mark the 10th anniversary of its iconic product. The iPhone 7 attracted 5-7 million additional customers following the discontinuation of Samsung’s fire-prone Galaxy Note 7. There is no guarantee another flagship Samsung phone will explode next year, so it all would depend on how wonderful the iPhone 8 turns out to be.
Rumors suggest that there will be three variants of the iPhone 8, including a 5.8-inch model with curved OLED screen. The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions will have an all-glass design with wireless charging. The premium 5.8-inch version is said to feature wireless charging, and a bezel-less OLED screen with the home button and fingerprint sensor embedded in the display itself.
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Supply chain sources told the Wall Street Journal that Apple was considering more than ten different prototypes for the next year’s model. OLED displays don’t require a backlight to illuminate the screen. But they are more expensive to manufacture, which could increase the price of the device. JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall said in a research note that the new features and components in the iPhone 8 could hurt Apple’s profit margins.
Curtis Silver of Forbes says that if these rumors turn out to be true, the iPhone 8 could attract “more Android users than ever before.” Android users are as loyal to Google’s operating system as iPhone users are to iOS. But features like OLED display, wireless charging, and a new form factor are “attractive selling points” when considering a switch from Android to iOS.
iPhone 8 could sell up to 150 million units in 2017
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note that the iPhone 8 could shatter all the previous iPhone sales records. Kuo said Apple suppliers were ramping up their capacity to produce up to 150 million iPhone 8 units by the end of 2017. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold between 110 million and 120 million units in the second half of 2014. The analyst estimates that the iPhone 8 sales could be in the range of 120 million and 150 million in the second half of 2017.
Kuo believes that Apple would not launch a successor to the iPhone SE, which could further help the iPhone 8 sales.