Here’s some good news for Apple: Lots of its customers are poised for an upgrade just as the iPhone 7 is expected to hit store shelves this fall.
Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster polled 400 U.S.-based iPhone users and found 67.3 percent own an iPhone 6 series or older device. Of that, 31.5 percent have an iPhone 5S or older. As a result, the analyst believes customers will engage in some sort of an upgrade, largely because the devices won’t be as usable due to advances in software or because of physical problems.
Of the survey respondents, 29 percent said they are mulling a new handset, while 15 percent are gearing up for an upgrade. Munster said in a research note to investors that the survey results are in line with his expectations given there are two months left before the launch of the iPhone 7 and consumers in general don’t follow the Apple rumor cycle. "We expect the percentage of consumers that plan to upgrade to the iPhone 7 to increase following the announcement, even if it is not a significant technology upgrade," he said on Monday (July 11).
At the very least, Munster thinks the iPhone 7 will perform the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which would indicate 12 percent year-over-year growth.
While Apple is known for wowing its loyal army of customers when it unveils a new iPhone, expectations in the market are that the iPhone 7 won’t be a major upgrade, like some of the iPhones before it. It is expected to be thinner and void of a headphone jack. Apple is reportedly relying on Lighting cable or Bluetooth wireless headphones for audio output. There are also rumors that Apple redesigned the antenna lines on the new phone. The larger iPhone 7 Plus model is expected to have a dual-lens camera.