Apple is rumored to be moving to three-year iPhone refresh cycle

By , May 31, 2016

iPhone 5se iPhone 7 concept Curved image 007

Apple is believed to be abandoning its famous tic-tock cycle where the iPhone sees a major refresh every other year and moving to a three-year refresh cycle for the handset, said Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

“The move is largely due to smartphone functions having little room left for major enhancements,” reads the report. “A slowing market is another factor”.

The newspaper learned from sources that Apple will likely take three years between full-model changes of the iPhone, a year longer than the current cycle.

Reiterating that the changes on the iPhone 7, which should released this fall, are minor and include improved camera quality, water resistance and battery capacity while the design will be almost indistinguishable from the current iPhone 6/6s series.

The publication also reaffirmed that the iPhone 7 won’t have the 3.5mm headphone jack and said the ‘Plus’ model will offer enhanced imaging “via correction functions.”

A major iPhone design refresh is said to be in tow for 2017.

The 2017 10th anniversary iPhone model is said to make a major switch from the existing LCD IPS display technology to the superior AMOLED displays that offer crisper colors, higher contrast, deeper blacks and decreased power consumption.

iPhone 7 concept via German magazine Curved.de.

Source: Nikkei

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  • Charlie

    This will come as a great news to all these accessory makers (and people who spent a fortune on them)

    • Newgunnerr

      Yeah and as bad news to about everyone else

      • igorsky

        Actually it’ll be amazing news to people like me who want to puke at the annual “Apple isn’t innovating” bullshit that flows on forums. Now I’ll have to deal with it once every three years.

      • madmaxmedia

        Actually you’ll now have to deal with it 2 out of every 3 years, instead of every other year. It’s the ‘S’ years where you get more comments about lack of improvements.

      • SkyFall

        But isn’t the “S” years, the years that they add new good features? 5s Touch ID, 6s 3D Touch. The non “S” years only add a new design and better cameras.

      • madmaxmedia

        I think they’ve added every year (retina screen in 4, larger screen in 6/6+, Apple Pay in 6, faster CPU every year). But when the physical design doesn’t change, the press seems to pick up on it more.

      • SkyFall

        I agree with you. Also in the non “S” releases they bump up the resolution. But whats weird this year is that other than the reports that they’ll change from LCD to OLED in the iPhone 8 no leaks about higher resolution in this years release.

      • JustCause

        AGREED! lol

  • ديف فرانكو

    Terrible move. Forcing customers to hold on to phones for 2-3 years before a refresh especially since their iOS updates haven’t been stable condition in recent months. Too much competition for this.

    • whats wrong with the OS? 9.3.2 is the most stable ive seen since 8.4

      • ديف فرانكو

        Bricked iPads.

      • okay. One device has an issue. and they are releasing a fix soon. let’s see you create an os for tons of devices

      • ديف فرانكو

        Ok

      • tariq

        apple fan won’t admit its a big issue to pay all that money for an iPad and have it bricked after an update. I bet samsung bricked, they would make a huge deal out of it lol

      • I don’t think they were bricked. I think they just got an error and had to be DFU restored back to 9.3.1 which is really easy. it’s almost impossible to “brick” an Idevice nowadays. Trust me I’ve tried (ever user end way).

      • tariq

        i dont have an iPad, so i assumed they bricked since thats what i read. Thanks for clarifying that(:

      • JustCause

        ^^ TRUE STORY! lmao

      • Jason B

        LOL, isn’t that Windows?

    • Jason B

      They said “major refresh” not minor refresh. Meaning that instead of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, we might see an iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and an iPhone 6SS before we see an iPhone 7.

      I think what you’re saying, is that we go 3 years with an iPhone 6, directly to an iPhone 7 in 3 years, which I don’t think is the case.

      God forbid you keep a phone for more than a year anyway…

      • KinkyNothing

        I’d still be with my spare 4S if not for all the newer devices I got as gifts.

    • Greg Warren

      “Forcing.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does.

    • Blip dude

      Nobody is forcing you to do ****!!!

      • ديف فرانكو

        Awww you guys are so mad at an opinion lol

      • Blip dude

        LMAO!! You mad about an opinion towards you??

      • pegger1

        It’s not really your opinion, you just don’t know what the word “forcing” means.

      • ديف فرانكو

        K.

    • Qiren

      What has hardware refreshes gotta do anything with the stability of iOS? iOS is a software and it’s gonna receive new updates whether there is a new iPhone or not.

    • Rowan09

      They’re not making new iPhones every 3 years, but instead making a big upgrade model (like after the S model) every 3 years instead of 2. HTC, Samsung, etc already does this, so Apple is just joining them per say.

  • Burge

    And phone contacts are only 2 years at best. I see a lot of 12 month sim only contracts coming.

    • Yeah but most carriers now, at least in the US, are moving to pay per month. Like I pay for my phone only half for activation but I pay for the phone. Once the phone is paid off I don’t need to make those payments anymore but I still only have to pay half for the activation fee.

      To me this puts more money in my pocket because I like to change phones when they make a drastic change on the outside. The phones are now powerful enough to take pretty much everything apple wants to throw at it so if you got the 6s(plus) you can be set for the next two years easily. When the 8 comes out it will be a new refresh and that phone should be powerful enough to last another 3 years.

      • pegger1

        The phone specs can last 3 years, the batteries can’t

      • with battery technology I think they can. I had my iPhone 4 for about 2 years with minimal battery issues. mind you it was jailbroken and had everything and it’s mother running so it only lasted me about 7 hours but still.

      • KinkyNothing

        Again, my 4S after 883 cycles has a 11.26% wear level and my five after 821 11.54%. So I’d say they ‘re fine and they last a day easily

  • 919263

    I think I wrote here sometime back about Apple loosing steam…. I should have bought a lottery ticket as well…There are NO Innovations left in Apple’s bag -of-tricks. Now whatever they will do would be “Cloning” other manufacturers.

    • igorsky

      They should ask you for advice as you definitely sound like an innovations expert.

    • Qiren

      Oh yes, because the rest of the smartphone industry aside from Apple is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO innovative.

      • tariq

        i samsung is setting a good example this year by bringing new features to the table. i mean, apple could at least try to make a water resistant phone or add SD slot or expand battery. It would be nice, i don’t like iPhones but those are some things apple could try to do to keep up

      • Rowan09

        New features? All those features were on older models and water resistant phones are always on the Active models.

      • tariq

        one active phone.. and it failed. But still that shows that samsung is doing something new, LG has dual screen and removable battery, curved phones. iPhones are not improving as much, so i think other phone industries are improving and iPhones are not. I Like Apple products, i just do not like their phones, do not think they are doing enough

      • Rowan09

        They come out with an Active Galaxy device every year. Samsung haven’t done anything new besides making a slightly curved Edge. LG made the LG Flex before Samsung did the Edge. Everyone are just doing incremental updates, along with Apple.

      • 919263

        iPhone vs. Android: How innovative is Apple’s new phone, really?

        “Innovations are really important in people’s daily lives,” said Tim Cook at today’s Apple event. “The iPhone is changing the world.”

        Is it, though? While the iPhone has undoubtedly helped make smartphones mainstream, Apple’s spent the last few generations merely improving upon technology that its competitors have cooked up first. It’s a smart move for a company that has made technology easier to use and more accessible to the general public, but I’d hardly label the latest iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as “innovative.” Most of what was revealed has been done already by Android phone makers.
        Apple’s 3D Touch is Huawei’s Force Touch
        apple 3d touch

        Apple’s 3D Touch lets you long press to bring up more options for certain apps.

        Apple rebranded the force touch feature it introduced on the Apple Watch as 3D Touch for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. It allows the display to sense how hard you’re pressing, so you can press hard to pull up contextual menus on the home screen, or offer previews with a gentle tap of a link or icon. Developers will be able to choose exactly how to use light and hard presses.

        This neat technology isn’t new to Android. The feature actually dates back to Android Eclair (2.0) and can be found in Android’s Level 5 API. There’s even a barebones Android app you can install to test the feature yourself.
        ifathings 9604 Florence Ion

        Huawei Mate S utilizes its own Force Touch that lets you zoom into the interface.

        Unfortunately, the only phone actively utilizing and marketing force touch is the Huawei Mate S, which debuted last week at IFA 2015 in Berlin. Huawei calls their version simply “Force Touch.” It can also sense how hard you’re pressing on the display, but the software is not as advanced as what Apple’s offering, which is a bummer on Huawei’s part. The company hasn’t even offered a launch date for when the phone will make it to the US.
        A selfie shortcut is essential
        iphone6s selfie

        Apple introduced a quicker way to snap selfies with 3D Touch.

        iPhone users can take advantage of the new force touch features to quickly launch the front-facing camera and snap a selfie. Well, sort of. iOS 9 requires that you hard-press, and then select the front-facing camera from the drop-down menu to snap a selfie.

        Android does it faster. First off, most of Sony’s Xperia and Samsung’s Galaxy Active devices already offer hardware buttons built into the side of the phone to quickly launch the camera. This proved especially helpful for both of these water resistant devices, so you could snap selfies under the sea.

        The Galaxy S6 lets you double-tap the Home button to launch the camera application and take a selfie.

        Samsung also brought the quick launch feature to its latest lineup of Galaxy devices full circle by introducing Quick Launch. Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5 users can quickly launch the camera application by double-pressing the Home button. If you’d rather shoot selfies, you can leave the camera app set to the front-facing camera so that it always launches facing you first. You can program the OnePlus 2’s home button to do the same.
        “Hey Siri” is “OK Google” with too much snark
        iphone6s heysiri

        Hey, Siri. There’s really no need to be snarky.

        Apple finally announced support for “Hey Siri” without the need to have the iPhone plugged in. With Android, I’ve been able to shout “OK Google” from across the room with almost every major flagship since the launch of Android 5.0—and it didn’t matter if it was charging or not.

        The feature was initially popularized on the first-generation Moto X, but it works with other devices, too, as long as the screen is on. All you have to do is enable the feature from the Google app settings. Today, some phones allow you to wake the phone with OK Google, others require the phone to be awake, but all work without plugging in the phone.
        Android mastered photos a while ago
        iphone6s camera

        Apple boasted plenty about the iPhone 6S’s camera abilities, but it still pales in comparison to Android’s.

        I remember when the iPhone was the one with the neat camera abilities and stellar photographs, but most Android phones have since caught up. Samsung’s Galaxy lineup and the LG G4 are great examples of what happens when Android manufacturers focus on improving the camera experience in their flagship devices. Both Samsung and LG’s hero phones have the iPhone 6S and 6 Plus beat.

        The new iPhone’s rear-facing 12-megapixel camera is a big step up from the 8 megapixels of the current iPhone 6, but is nothing compared to the Galaxy S6 and G4’s 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras. They both have impeccable low light abilities and can record 4K video, as well as manual-shooting modes. Quite a few Android phones use an image sensor made by Samsung with its ISOCELL technology, which helps prevent crosstalk between pixels—a feature Apple called out in its new camera sensor.

        Android phones have also been ahead of Apple in the selfie camera department. Currently, the Galaxy S6, G4, Xperia Z5. and Moto X all boast 5-megapixel or higher front-facing camera sensors with impressive apertures. The third-generation Moto G also utilizes a front-facing display flash, so you can snap a photo with the white light of the display. It doesn’t work that well, but it’s there, and it was announced before Apple got to it. The Moto X Pure Edition has an actual flash on the front, not a hack to use the display.
        Faster, smaller processors
        gs6 benchmarkhead Florence Ion

        Samsung really wowed us with its processor performance this year.

        Samsung really wowed us this year with its octa-core Exynos 7420. Its name is not as pleasing for the marketing department as Apple’s A9, but we suspect it’s in the same class.
        iphone6s performance

        Apple’s just playing catch up.

        Samsung’s latest chips are made on a 14nm process, which is what the A9 is assumed to be. And although Apple spent a good portion of its presentation boasting the A9’s faster CPU and GPU speeds and always-on capabilities, it’s essentially playing catchup to what Samsung and Qualcomm shipped earlier this year. Building the motion sensor into the CPU is old news for Android phones, too, as Qualcomm’s processors have been doing that since last year.

        There’s no doubt the iPhone 6s will represent a nice step forward for those dedicated to Apple’s ecosystem. And Apple’s attention to detail and craftsmanship always results in a pleasing phone. But when it comes to core technology, the company isn’t really breaking new ground. If you want an early look at the features of the iPhone 7, keep a watch on the Android market over the next year.

  • Jamessmooth

    Makes more sense but I don’t have to like it!

  • OUTFOXEM

    No chance. Apple is the most profitable company in the world because of their yearly iPhone. They’re not going to change that any time soon.

    • Rowan09

      They’ll still release a phone every year but only do a major upgrade the 3rd year instead of releasing a S model then a major upgrade.

  • OWashe

    No reason to upgrade then. I guess switching to android for a moment till they get serious about changing the design. #iReallyHateThatCameraBump

    • Rowan09

      Which phone because a lot of Android phones from Samsung, etc have camera bumps as well?

      • OWashe

        There is the Huawei P9.. But I doubt apple will not change design. The iPhone 6s is selling badly. I don’t think investors will be happy either. So changing the design is definitely on the table.

      • tariq

        i hate the bump too! got the s7 edge.. the best thing to do is get a case (for any phone) so that bump is less noticeable

      • Rowan09

        It’s not selling badly they sold over 50 million it’s just not what investors predicted.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Oh boy i can’t wait for the iphone 8!

  • JustCause

    I doubt it. I can see other manufacturers doing this but crApple won’t have to because they know that the kinda sheepeople that buy their products will continue to buy the same resized and recycled stuff year after year after year. They have no reason not to keep making money off those idiots!