The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus landed on store shelves on Friday, and the initial assessment suggests that interest in these two models isn’t as high as interest in the iPhone 7 line-up was last year. One analyst warned that there may not be enough differentiation between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 to keep people from simply upgrading to last year’s model instead of the iPhone 8. An iPhone 8 teardown conducted by a different firm confirms that there just isn’t very much that’s new about the new iPhone 8.
In a note dated Monday, Nomura analyst Manabu Akizuki released the results of his team’s iPhone 8 teardown. He said that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hardware is very similar to the hardware in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but with “some new functionality.” Wireless charging is one of the most notable new functions the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offers.
However, Akizuki warned that the technological progress they found in their iPhone 8 teardown isn’t of the kind that users would notice until they’ve used the device a lot. While functions like wireless charging are very obvious, the other advances the Nomura team found in the iPhone 8 teardown were not, such as the new CMOS sensors in the cameras and the application processor.
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Their iPhone 8 teardown revealed a board that’s very similar to that found in the iPhone 7, but with a wireless charging coil under the Apple logo. The Nomura team expects the changes in the iPhone X‘s board to be more substantial.
The findings from the iPhone 8 teardown conducted by Nomura appear to back up something CLSA analyst Nicolas Baratte said in his note dated Sept. 24. He warned that a lack of differentiation between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 could end up being bad for Apple because more buyers might opt for the cheaper iPhone 7 instead of buying the iPhone 8. After all, if consumers perceive little difference between last year’s models and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, why would they pay more to buy the 8 or 8 Plus? The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are being discounted now, which is standard practice for Apple when it releases new iPhone models.
Baratte also said he picked up “anecdotal evidence” that consumers who previously wanted an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus are now settling for an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. He also noted that Apple’s average selling price for the iPhone averages $650 over the last eight quarters. Thus, this year’s lineup probably brought some serious sticker shock despite the pre-announcement leaks about the $1,000 price point for the iPhone X. Apple also raised the price of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus versus the prices where the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus started last year, causing even more sticker shock.
One of the major bull theses relates to the large number of iPhones that are more than two years old, which is both good and bad for Apple. On one hand, consumers with older models may be ready to upgrade, but on the other hand, they will still get a big upgrade by moving to the iPhone 7, and they might not be willing to shell out more than $1,000 for a new iPhone.