Apple Inc. is headed toward the launch of an iPhone 7 later on this year, but it seems the firm has already had to substantially rethink the phone it’s going to put out, and when it’s going to release. Tim Arcuri of Cowen and Company says that Apple was planning to put out three versions of the iPhone 7 this year, but the firm changed its mind at some point.
A 4-inch iPhone 7, which would sport the same screen found in the iPhone 5s, has been rumored since late last year. KGI securities analyst Ming Chu Kuo said in a March report that Apple was planning on getting the device out there after the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Now it seems that Apple has changed its mind.
iPhone 7 specs get altered
The design of a new iPhone is an ongoing process until Apple decides to push “Go” and send orders to those working in its supply chain. Early this year Mr. Arcuri says that he saw quite a lot of evidence of a new 4-inch smart phone in the parts being ordered in small amounts. Those orders have now all but dried up.
Mr. Arcuri said the iPhone 7 mini would be an “iPhone 6-looking version of the iPhone 5C.” The Cowen analyst says that the massive sales of the iPhone 6 are the likely reason behind the end of production on the iPhone 7 mini.
The thought process, in his words, went something like “Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.”
There is some dispute on Wall Street about whether the project has been cancelled in full. In a June 30 report on the iPhone 7 Jefferies said that the firm would release a smaller version of its smart phone next year in order to appeal to those who prefer a device with a smaller profile.
iPhone 7 release date looks less certain
The release date of the iPhone 7 may also be facing pressure from decisions made at Apple. A Vodafone memo that was widely reported on showed that the firm was aiming for a release date on September 25, but that’s looking less likely on the back of the firm’s latest earnings report.
Apple guidance for the three months through September came in a couple of billion short of the forecast on Wall Street. That means that Apple doesn’t think it will sell quite as many units of the iPhone in the three months as Wall Street is looking for. A change in the iPhone 7 release date may be behind the numbers.
The shortfall in the forecast may mean that Apple won’t put the iPhone 7 release date in the third quarter, and may go for a release date in October instead. On the other hand, the firm may make the iPhone 7 release date softer than what we have seen in the past.
With the Apple Watch, Tim Cook and his team decided to make the release date more of a guide than a reality. There were no units to buy in stores when the device went on sale, and it wasn’t until the start of June that many buyers were able to get their hands on the wearable.
The iPhone 7 release date might, judging by the earnings forecast that Apple has offered, might be pushed back. It’s clear that Apple has changed its original vision for the smaller iPhone 7. Other factors might have also changed during the design and initial making of the phone.
iPhone 7 specs become clear
In this cycle those following Apple seem more confident than ever before about the iPhone 7 specs. The fact that it’s an inter-gen iPhone helps, but input from those with sources in the supply chain has lead to a lot of voices that are close to certain on the shape of the next iPhone.
Ming Chu Kuo of KGI says that he’s close to sure of a lot of things when it comes to iPhone 7 specs. The headline iPhone 7 specs will, according to the trusted voice, include Force Touch, new colors, a screen the same size of the iPhone 6, a better camera and a harder case material.
The picture we have of the iPhone 7 is likely to get clearer and clearer as more exact info from the supply chain arrives over the coming weeks. there will always be a risk to those forecasts, however, and until the iPhone 7 is launched by Apple we won’t know precisely what the firm will offer.
Uncertainty with the iPhone 7 specs, release date
Apple is a huge organization and has many moving parts. That means that any certain with what it will do in a few months time are, even if their info is entirely correct right now, betting on Tim Cook and the rest of the team sticking to a plan.
That can’t happen every time, and it appears the iPhone 7 may be slightly altered from the firm’s first plans on its release date. With little doubt being cast on the iPhone 7 specs as listed by Mr. Kuo, it seems that there is little expectation that Apple will make a big change this time around.
The uncertainty around the iPhone 7 release date, and the almost sure change in the specs of the iPhone 7 line-up, should be a lesson, however. Apple has surprised many times in the past, even when Wall Street seemed sure about what the firm would offer.
Heading into the release of the iPhone 7 with that in mind can’t hurt. What we don’t know is the final form of the phone, but the forecast offered by people like Mr. Kuo give us a good idea of what to expect. Though that info may not be exact, it is good indication of whether the next release is worth waiting for.
If Force Touch and the new colors don’t seem like they’re worth the extra few months, Mr. Arcuri of Cowen reckons that the iPhone 6 will still be on the market after the iPhone 7 release date. He says that Apple will likely cut the price of the device in order to fit it into the niche that the mini iPhone 7 leaves open after being cancelled.