Apple releases a new flagship iPhone every year, and a new one will be launching this fall, likely to be marketed as ‘iPhone 7’ and ‘iPhone 7 Plus’.
However, according to analyst Mark Moskowitz, Apple will be skipping the “S” refresh cycle in 2017 and instead opt to launch another major redesigned iPhone, following the launch of the “iPhone 7” later this year. Moskowitz believes the phone launched in 2017 will be called the “iPhone 8,” and that it will showcase a major redesign from the iPhone 7, offer a plethora of new features, and potentially even lose one aspect of the iPhone that has been present since 2007.
The analyst believes this “mega cycle” upgrade could increase iPhone sales by 10.3 percent, according to the analyst, adding that in addition to wireless charging the iPhone 8 could pack an OLED display, a completely altered form factor, and no home button. Previous reports have suggested Apple is working with suppliers to begin manufacturing OLED panels in 2017 for its iPhone lineup, as well as develop an in-house single-chip solution to integrate its touchscreen and display drivers, allowing for a Touch ID-enabled screen and negating the need for a separate home button.
“Silver lining – there might be no “S” cycle in C2017. Our conversations with industry participants suggest Apple could skip the “S” cycle next year and instead jump to IP8. The jump could showcase major form factor changes, including OLED, no home button, and wireless charging. In our view, these potential changes could drive a mega cycle, underpinning our C2017 iPhone unit growth estimate of 10.3%, vs. 6.3% previously.”
As a result, the analyst believes Apple will sell 1.8 percent fewer iPhones this year than it did last year, given users’ contentment with their current devices and the rumored modest updates in the iPhone 7. Other rumored updates to the iPhone 7 include redesigned antenna bands, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, and possibly even a Smart Connector as seen on the iPad Pro.
Several rumors point to interesting new design overhauls for the 2017 iPhone as well — including the switch from aluminum casing to glass — but Moskowitz’s previouspredictions haven’t been entirely reliable, so his forecasts for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 should be taken with a grain of salt.