In a move sure to reassure fans Apple’s golden years weren’t solely the result of Jobs and Ive, both of whom have left the company in one way or another, new rumors surfaced today about the next iPhone design. Specifically, that Apple will reuse the iPhone 7 design – which was effectively a reuse of the iPhone 6 design – for another year.
If true, this means Apple will use the same smartphone design for four iPhone generations, beginning with the iPhone 6. This in and of itself wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. The iPhone SE uses the same design as the iPhone 5, which was released in 2012, making it as old as the rumored 7S design.
However, unlike the iPhone 5, the iPhone 6/6S/7 are like holding a bar of soap.
As some users have demonstrated, it wouldn’t have been too much of a design shift to make it easier to hold:
Some may argue the iPhone 6 design is the apex of smartphone design (which may be why other companies are straight-up ripping off the design).
Apple’s shareholders may have a different story.
Based on historical sales data, the iPhone 7 was about on par with the iPhone 6S, generating a 1% adoption rate. However, that’s half of what the iPhone 6 was able to generate, as per Localytics:
Based on this chart (which is admittedly limited), it would seem reasonable to think a new phone design spurs larger first weekend iPhone sales.
And yet, Apple is continuing with the same design for the iPhone’s tenth anniversary.
Maybe they’re going to Think Different® and launch an exciting refresh for the eleventh anniversary?