It’s been 10 years since Steve Jobs got the oohs and aahs from the crowd when he revealed Apple’s first iPhone. It seems like so long ago now and, quite frankly, some sections of the masses are starting to get disillusioned by seeing the same old same old from Apple every year.
This quarter, Apple has experienced more lackluster results in the sales division. That isn’t being helped by the fact that their 10th anniversary is coming up in 2017; the same year that their largest competitor, Samsung, is releasing its Samsung S8 to rave reviews. But the plot only thickens from there.
Apple is planning a monumental launch of not 2, but 3, iPhones this year. It will deliver upgrades of the current iPhone models on the market, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus while also unveiling a sleek new player. The 3rd phone is expected to have a new type of screen characterized by curved glass, an emphasis on stainless steel for the materials, and advanced camera technology.
Apple Skimping on Design of Late
Apple’s line of Apple products is really their cash cow. 67% of their revenue comes from global iPhone sales alone! As if that’s not enough, the iPhone opens doors to a whole army of other revenue sources. People with iPhones will want to buy the Apple watch or the Fitbit. They’ll go on the App Store and purchase premium apps. They’ll get themselves iPads and they’ll purchase music from iTunes. These secondary revenue sources really add up. The end result is a resounding cha-ching for Apple.
Apple hasn’t been behaving nicely of late, however, and the consequences have shown up in the sales numbers. Apple typically does a full upgrade on its phones every two years. They revamp everything from the software to the shape of the phone. Last year was their 3rd year with the same shape for their iPhone. According to one of the biggest Irish mobile providers eir, the consumers weren’t pleased, to say the least, and the sales dropped. On the other side of the fence, Samsung is getting great reviews for its S8 and increasing the pressure on Apple to come up with something great this year.
New Phone Design
Apple’s new phone is expected to have some great features that will add much needed flavor to the phone the world has come to fall in love with. For starters, a larger screen that doesn’t imply a larger phone! The screen is expected to cover most of the real estate on the front of the new phone. So much so that Apple are looking to borrow a leaf from Samsung’s book and incorporate the home button into the screen using special technology. As a result, the display will be larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus but the phone will be roughly the size of the iPhone7.
Apple are looking to incorporate OLED technology into the new phone display with the same 4.7” and 5.5” screens that we got with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus. An OLED display will make the colours more realistic. They’ve actually gone through numerous prototypes and some of them have experimented with the curved glass and stainless steel mentioned earlier.
Among the designs tested by Apple is one with subtly curves glass spanning both the front and rear of the phone. This glass blends in with a steel frame on the sides, much like what we saw with the iPhone 4 back in 2010. Another prototype makes the curved glass much more prominent by making the steel frame thinner. They even tried a different prototype with a glass rear and more pronounced curves on the sides of the phone that remind you a lot of the original iPhone 3 from a decade ago.
Apple tried to install a fingerprint scanner into the new iPhone’s display, but the hardware issues have been unrelenting. It’s still unclear if the 2017 unveiling will include this feature. For the camera, a vertical orientation as opposed to the familiar horizontal orientation is being tested. The front camera is likely to have a dual lens set up for truer pictures. They might even include some augmented reality features! We don’t know if the camera set up on the back will still be a slight bump though
All these phones will be running on iOS 11, which will have a fresh new user interface and is scheduled for launch in June. The hardware will have some sweet features. One of these is more powerful processors that are even smaller to preserve battery life despite all the software improvements.
Apple will need 100 million OLED displays which its regular suppliers don’t have the capacity to supply. That means they will have to rely on, you guessed it, Samsung to supply them. This means Samsung wins either way in the fall of 2017 when Apple launch their new product. On the one hand, Samsung’s S8 is setting them up as a serious competitor to Apple; on the other, even if Apple’s new iPhone emerges on top, Samsung get to exclusively supply the displays and receive a boost to their bottom line.
Apple is expected to wow crowds this year and their uncovering of the new iPhone is highly anticipated. The fact that it will be delayed by a month or two due to supply issues only makes us more impatient. We don’t know if their sales will get a dramatic boos after the event, but we do know it will be interesting.