The upcoming iPhone 7 has arguably been subject to more speculation than any previous iPhone release, in large part because many analysts and pundits believe that we may have finally hit ‘peak iPhone.’ As a result, the iPhone 7 will not only be judged by what features it brings to the table, but also by its ability to restore sales growth to Apple’s iPhone lineup. Remember, 2016 marked the first year that Apple experienced a year over year decline in iPhone sales.
All that said, the pressure is on for Apple’s iPhone 7 to deliver in a big and perhaps unprecedented way. Looking ahead, many analysts seem to be unimpressed by iPhone 7 rumors and are already predicting yet another lull in iPhone sales in 2017. But not everyone is taking such a pessimistic view.
According to BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long (via Business Insider), the iPhone 7 will likely usher in a massive refresh cycle and help boost sales tremendously.
Long points out that the installed base of iPhone users is huge and that a solid 25% of existing iPhone users are in the market for an upgrade. In fact, Long notes that the percentage of iPhone users with devices that are at least two years old is greater today than it was in the months preceding the release of both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s. Specifically, Long estimates that upwards of 120 million iPhone users today are using iPhone 5s devices or even older models.
The following chart illustrates how the iPhone 7 may very well set new sales records upon its release later this year. Apple’s next-gen iPhone may not be the revolutionary upgrade that some users are hoping for, but the data below suggests that it may not matter because the iPhone 7 will be a compelling device for iPhone 5s users and the like.
Bolstering the notion that the iPhone 7 will be more of a hit than many analysts believe, it’s worth noting that Apple has reportedly asked component suppliers to prepare for a production range of 72 to 78 million units, making it the “highest production target in about two years.”