How often should Apple release a new iPhone?

sspade

Smartphone technology and specs are moving so rapidly, that I wonder if Apple's product cycle is too slow. A year ago a 1Ghz single core CPU would have been a bland, middle of the road device, now it is a creaky old thing ready for retirement. With Apple bringing out a new iPhone on more or less an annual basis, I'm starting to wonder if this is too slow of a development cycle to keep it at the front of the pack any more. Should they start releasing new versions more often, or is the current pace sufficient to keep users happy and attract new customers? I'm genuinely curious about this - my first smartphone was an Android, and I each replacement has been a newer Android; I've never owned an iPhone, but I've played around with them and thought they were pretty slick. Time stays still for no product though.

Answer this Question

Answers

3 total
jackson
Vote Up (16)

Apple has consistently pleased it's customers with the iPhone, and it remains an aspiration product, so I suppose they are doing it pretty well to this point. The iPhone has taken a very evolutionary approach to product development, after a revolutionary beginning. I expect that will continue, but of course the danger for Apple is that by playing it too safe, people loose the sense of excitement that comes along with the release of a new version. It's a bit of a balancing act. The other thing to think about is that the iPhone is a premium priced device, as anyone who has looked at purchase off contract knows. If the product life-cycle is too short, how happy will people be that the expensive device they just purchased has already been superseded? Probably not very. 

jimlynch
Vote Up (15)

A major upgrade once per year, a slightly buffed up minor upgrade very six months. Any more than that and they risk irritating consumers by having too many updates, too soon.

Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (13)

Given Apple's notorious level of control and seeming unwillingness to ship anything before it's ready, it probably would be hard to do more than one release annually, unless the company (and, more importantly, its customer base) was willing to settle for minor tweaks between releases.

Another reason why Apple probably maintains its current schedule is marketing: It's hard to stoke the hype machine more frequently than once a year or so. Though sometimes I get the impression that diehard Apple fanboys would buy a new device every three months if they could. It's probably good that they can't.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Expect NASA’s new method for getting astronauts into space to hit the occasional snag
Would you pay US$4,000 for an iPhone 6?
Samsung on Thursday announced price reductions and updates for its Knox security and management software for IT shops and a free My Knox service that is directly available to professionals using ActiveSync.
Alibaba, an e-commerce giant in China, wants to make new friends in the U.S. Especially friends with money.
Why Android users should avoid buying Apple's new iPhone 6. Plus: What you can do with your old Android device, and Amazon updates its Android-based Kindle ereaders and tablets.
Facebook users will soon start to see more posts higher in their feeds tied to popular events or topics of conversation, with less relevant posts getting pushed farther down.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the new business-focused features you’ll find on your iPhone and iPad as you upgrade them to the new iOS.
Where you are and what you're doing in your car could suddenly become very public.
Citrix CEO outlines vision for every employee to be able to access everything they need to be productive from anywhere and on any device.
Network operator Orange wants to help businesses deliver relevant information to their customers, and keep track of things and people, with three new services that take advantage of its mobile networks.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

randomness