As Apple and its iPhone range face a raft of new challenges, the consumer electronics giant has at least received some good news from a recent survey. The survey in question asked prospective smartphone owners whether they are excited about the iPhone 7, and the results were favorable for the forthcoming Apple flagship.
iPhone 7 buzz
It seems that Apple consumers are indeed more enthusiastic in their anticipation for the iPhone 7 than for last year’s iPhone 6S. The UBS Evidence Lab conducted a survey of 6,336 smartphone users across the US, UK, Germany, mainland China, and Japan in order to sample potential interest in the next major smartphone release from Apple.
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The UBS poll found that there is a significant amount of consumer interest in the iPhone 7, and that the potential for this device could be greater than last year’s iPhone 6S based on these results. This is perhaps not hugely surprising, as the fact that the iPhone 7 is receiving a new digit means that it should be more than the incremental upgrade that the iPhone 6S was last year.
However, recent reports have suggested that Apple will hold back some of the more revolutionary features for the iPhone 8 in 2017, so the California-based company also seemingly runs the risk of disappointing some of its loyal customers.
iPhone 6 gap
Another minor negative for Apple is that the UBS poll indicated that consumer interest and demand for the iPhone 7 may not be as great as for the iPhone 6. Nonetheless, considering that Apple has significantly expanded its operations in developing economies, and East Asia in particular, since the 2014 release of the iPhone 6, then the results of the UBS poll coupled with this demographic trend make a positive couplet for the consumer electronics behemoth.
It was also noticeable that UBS documented that respondents showed significantly more interest in the key US and Chinese marketplaces than for the iPhone 6S. The success of the iPhone 7 will be largely predicated on the two largest markets for Apple, with reports previously indicating that Apple now shifts more iPhone units in China than even the United States.
But the news from the UBS survey was not entirely positive for Apple, suggesting that the demographic sales of the iPhone 7 may vary significantly. The poll indicated that there is less excitement in Europe for the iPhone 7 that in the two largest Apple iPhone marketplaces, with European consumers apparently less enthusiastic about the iPhone 7 and last year’s iPhone 6S.
Data acquired from the survey prompted UBS analyst Steven Milunovich to predict that iPhone sales growth will be between 5 and 10 percent during 2017. Milunovich asserts that many consumers will upgrade in 2017, and that the iPhone 7 later this year can also be a significant success story for the corporation.
Share price travails
This will be a big positive for Apple, with the market-defining corporation suffering from some lukewarm sales and stock figures lately. Apple itself has already predicted that it will sell less iPhone units in 2016 than during the previous calendar year, which would be a first in the entire lifecycle of the smartphone. And early indications are that its pessimistic estimates are indeed correct, and that we should expect a small recession in the sales of the iPhone in the calendar year.
While no company can expect a never-ending story of growth, the travails that Apple have been forced to tolerate recently have eaten into its share price. Any good news would be extremely welcome at this point, although it is noticeable that analysts are considerably more positive about the medium-term prospect of Apple, especially in 2017.
Increasingly, it seems that Apple will release a revolutionary iPhone 8 next year, and that this will reinvigorate the dominant market position of Apple, and once again get consumers really excited about the flagship device of the corporation. Already some analysts have made optimistic estimates for the iPhone 8, suggesting that sales growth in 2017 could be as high as 10 percent.
Meanwhile, the poll conducted by UBS also discovered that nearly 50 percent of those who responded intend to wait to purchase an iPhone when the the next model in the series is available. This could be positive for the prospects of the iPhone 7, with the next generation Apple smartphone expected in September, if indeed the Cupertino-based company sticks to its usual schedule.
Very little is known about the iPhone 7 at the time of writing, and generally analysts believe that it could be a rather conservative device. So the apparent excitement about this product places a great deal of faith in Apple to deliver an interesting iPhone 7 unit. A significant redesign of the main body of the smartphone is expected with the iPhone 7, and Apple may also include the iPad Pro‘s Smart Connector for wireless charging.
Wireless headphones are also widely anticipated, and at a Smart Connector could make it possible for Apple to use slimmer battery cases in the handset. A more powerful processor and higher screen resolution have also been particularly linked with the iPhone 7.
In a time when Apple is under pressure for the first time in several years, the CEO of the company, Tim Cook, came out swinging earlier this week. Cook suggested that the Ssump in the share price of the company is just a blip, and that outside of Wall Street sentiment about the company is still extremely positive.
Cook pointed to the fact that in the most recent financial quarter, Apple achieved over $50 billion in revenue and $10 billion dollars in profit. The CEO not unreasonably asserted that this was an incredible quarter by any normal standards, and that the figure was “more than any other company makes, so it was a pretty good quarter, but not up to the Street’s expectations clearly.”
Perhaps the UBS Survey suggests that Apple will indeed post numbers that please Wall Street before the calendar year is out.