iOS 7 (iPhone 5, flat, white, homescreen)

Love it or hate it, Apple’s newly-unveiled iOS 7 will breathe new life into the aging iPhone, argued one analyst late Monday. Unlike hardware changes which have a short lifetime in terms of public curiosity, phone software updates are mesmerizing.

In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster writes that the changes within iOS 7 will spark renewed interest in the iPhone, which some felt was being overshadowed by its Android rivals, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4…

Per CNET, Munster wrote:

We believe iOS 7 is a reason for users to get excited about their iPhones again by giving it a new feel, which is something that we believe has been lacking in the past iOS updates and subsequently device launches, regardless of hardware design.

The most visible change to Apple’s mobile software update is a ‘flat’ design of the user interface, a switch championed by the firm’s design guru, Jony Ive. Since 2007, the iPhone has followed a more life-like design philosophy held by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and the former iOS chief Scott Forstall.

iOS 7 (multiple iPhones, flat)

Unlike hardware changes, which iPhone owners shrug off after just a few hours, “the OS is what mesmerizes people longer term,” according to the analyst.

Mesmerize or anger.

While over half of readers who take part in our informal iOS 7 makeover poll said they loved the new design, nearly a third described the new interface as polarizing and will need getting used to.

Designers should also love the changes.

iOS 7 (three-up, Photos, Camera, Weather)

Not only is ‘flat’ in vogue, but reversing all the psychic damage from the iO7 facelift will likely mean an upsurge in business. Indeed, Dribble, a popular online hangout for designers, is featuring a number of makeovers of the new iOS 7 home screen.

It is almost a certainty that we’ll see hacks to rollback the ‘flat’ UI.

Despite the power of iOS, Munster couldn’t resist predicting new hardware, such as a low-cost iPhone and the iWatch over the next 18 months. Naturally, we couldn’t have a Munster analysis without the latest timeline on the mythical Apple TV set.

Specifically, he’s calling for the budget iPhone in September or October and a standalone Apple television set by year’s end. He’s also expecting an iWatch and an iPhablet, both some time in 2014.