iPhone (Reportedly) Moving to a Three-Year Cycle for Major Upgrades... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MICHAELSD, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    With the 2016 iPhone for all intent and purposes being the first placeholder non-S iPhone as Apple prepares for a radical redesign in 2017, reports are stating that Apple is moving to a three-year cycle wherein a meaningful body style revamp will be released once every three years, with the following two being S-level upgrades.

    Frankly I cannot fault Apple for this, as there are only so many times a mobile phone can be revamped at this point until we reach the idyllic smartphone with a perfect display in all aspects, incredible performance capable of professional desktop-level computing, all-day battery life, and indestructible characteristics. At some point Apple is just going to be reiterating the same designs until there are radical new technologies ready to incorporate. My personal concern, and this is very much a first-world issue, is that I've owned every single iPhone generation since the first and need incentive each year to keep this up for hopefully a lifetime so while I'd be okay with this I would prefer Apple doesn't get lazy. I want to feel like I'm buying a new phone, unlike how the Mac lineups only change internally for years at a time while my 2012 rMBP is no slouch and wouldn't feel inferior to the latest rMBP.

    Apple should have at least one killer feature lined up each minor upgrade year so that growth doesn't become totally stagnant.
  2. Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    I don't mind it personally. Just means that if I purchase an iPhone on its launch day it holds its value that much longer! :)

    Plus it gives Apple more time to put out significant updates and less pressure on Apple to push out crappy updates just because people expect them to put out something new every year (i.e. 4s).
  3. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
  4. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    Brilliant profit taking move!

    iDevice buyers are a compliant group that will agree to anything Apple suggests. Recent multi year delays before Apple responds to the market have already proven that Apple is highly revered amongst the faithful. Now instead of rampant rumors, everyone will know what to expect.

    Boring but profitable.
  5. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    good, less people whining every year how the new iPhone is not innovative enough.
  6. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    I've always been in the camp of less "new" releases and longer life cycles of superior products.
  7. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'd be happy with it IF AND ONLY IF this isn't a sign that msrp is going to start moving up to make up for potential loss in sales moving forward.

    I've typically upgraded yearly but have no dire need to do so. I'm happy saving the money not upgrading.

    At the same time nothing is certain. Even if the next iPhone doesn't fall into the typical upgrade pattern, in unsure that means anything for certain. We will have to see. We won't see a pattern for sure for about half s decades.
  8. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    I like a "steady as she goes" company. I'll take it!
  9. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013
    Used to be Automobile manufactures brought out a new model every 3 years now about 5 years today. I'm OK with this from Apple. However, I vision a very, very long thread from some about what the next 3 year version will look like :D
  10. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Or, what if you just didn't buy a new phone for no good reason? Crazy, I know...
  11. ACG12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2015
    I think you mean it use to be every 10 years (remember the 88-98 Silverado/Sierra?) and now it's every 3-5 because the competition is too great to keep a car model longer than that.
  12. chasonstone macrumors regular


    Dec 24, 2010
    Well I don't think it's necessary for iPhone's to have a whole new body style every other year, but I've enjoyed it up until now. I just think smartphones hit a point where they're just good enough for people. It's not like I'm getting some significantly better phone every year like at the beginning. My phone doesn't leave out anything that I feel that I need out of a phone. Because of this unless something makes me feel the need to upgrade this fall, this will probably be the longest I've ever owned an iPhone. I'm very interested in the rumored big refresh in 2017 though.
  13. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Can't see it happening personally, the sales drop every s cycle would put Apple off.
  14. HEK, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016

    HEK macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2013
    US Eastern time zone
    What's the matter with you? Whining is an integral part of Apple experience.:rolleyes:

    Would you like some whine with your new device? "Whine" is to Apple device, what "wine" is to cheese.

    Besides, after a year my wallet gets so fat, have hard time putting in pocket. Apple helps by emptying it every year with $1,000 new iPhone. It's a consumer wallet trimming service. :D
  15. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    It's not like the S releases are minor upgrades while the good stuff is saved for the non-S releases. The only real difference between the regular and S releases is the design, and I don't see how it could be so hard for Apple to come up with one new design every two years.
  16. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    This would probably not effect me much. If they move to this cycle I would prefer all sizes to be equal as far as upgrades go.
  17. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    That, in a way, is a great point. What exactly does "3 yr" mean?
    One thing it will mean; if an Android OEM comes out with a game changing design/development, it could be a couple of years before Apple responds. That, would be potentially suicidal.

    btw: for cars, most financial loans ran 4 years or more and now run 5-7 years. Not a real surprise for the multi-year design. Smartphones? Not seeing it beyond 2 year..
  18. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Apple will release new phones every year in the hopes of sales. You make up your mind whether to buy or not.

    End of story...
  19. pixel_junkie macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    Yup. No innovation = less sales = less profit. The "I don't need it but I have to have it" thing doesn't work well without bait.
  20. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Other than this last cycle, when has the S meant fewer sales?
  21. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    In fairness you will likely see all companies doing this. HTC have and I'm sure samsung will too. There's are so many changes you can make each year
  22. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    One of the main reasons I upgrade is for the redesigned body and new design. I really don't like the 3 year cycle since it means I'll be holding basically the exact same looking and feeling phone for 3 years. Not a big fan of this since I was excited for a redesign with the iPhone 7, only to be disappointed with the fact that it will look mostly the exact same.
  23. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Don't really mind, call me shallow but a main part of why I upgrade is a new design. I do understand why people buy the 'S' models, but for me it never seems worth the money for two or three new features.

    I'll save my money and upgrade every three years instead - at least with Apple, you should be receiving major software updates for all those years so there will be something at least a little bit exciting and 'new' each year.
  24. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    You will get bored of a new redesign anyway after a few months and sometimes will upgrade to an uglier one (5 series > 6 series). The "s" models are the best ones to get. The iPhone 4 and 6 have aged the worst. The 4 was the last single core and never got updated passed iOS7. The 6 only has 1 GB of RAM and the little SE outclasses it internally and externally.

    I like the idea but we were headed to this direction anyway since design, internal hardware, and platforms have already hit maturity. I hope the next decade gives us robots and we can stop worrying about our phones a little less. I love smartphones (now), but seeing us debate about these disposal gadgets is not something I want to occupy my mind with for the rest of my life.

    Good for Apple. Video game consoles are starting to have similar update cycles too. Year 3 is always when you get everything corrected.
    Year 1, bugs
    Year 2, bugs are corrected but not everything.
    Year 3, refining more refinement.

    This applies to Android (ICS->JB->KK, LP->MM->N). To paraphrase a song, ~It takes THREE to make a thing go right.~

    Good - > Better - > Best.

    iPhone 5 (good)
    iPhone 5s (better)
    iPhone SE (best)

    iPhone 6/6 Plus (good)
    iPhone 6s/6s Plus (better)
    iPhone 7/7 Plus/7 Pro (best)

    Revamp 2017. Heck, even this year Apple will work with three different models. I think having a third model of a flagship offsets the need to be revamped every two years. Apple will have the sizes and tiers covered.
  25. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    I don't see it. If anything, they'll move away from the S cycle.

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