Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MICHAELSD

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
5,050
2,664
NJ
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.
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2014
2,123
1,984
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).
 

maxsix

Suspended
Jun 28, 2015
3,100
3,731
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lyceumHQ

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
13,082
3,649
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.
 

I7guy

macrumors Nehalem
Nov 30, 2013
31,042
19,915
Gotta be in it to win it
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.
I like a "steady as she goes" company. I'll take it!
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
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
 

ACG12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2015
833
723
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

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.
 

chasonstone

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2010
269
287
Kentucky
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bhs1975

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,607
Can't see it happening personally, the sales drop every s cycle would put Apple off.
 

HEK

macrumors 68040
Sep 24, 2013
3,547
6,079
US Eastern time zone
good, less people whining every year how the new iPhone is not innovative enough.
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
 
Last edited:

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,825
2,786
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ladyc0524

Ladybug

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2006
1,864
997
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.
 

dk001

Contributor
Oct 3, 2014
8,714
12,913
Surf Sand and Sun
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

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..
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,227
2,536
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...
 

pixel_junkie

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2015
404
419
Can't see it happening personally, the sales drop every s cycle would put Apple off.

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.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Penryn
Dec 15, 2010
28,278
17,392
UK
Can't see it happening personally, the sales drop every s cycle would put Apple off.
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: ABC5S

Flow39

macrumors 68000
Sep 7, 2014
1,784
1,753
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.
 

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
7,145
3,155
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.
 

Savor

Suspended
Jun 18, 2010
3,742
918
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.
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.