Wash, rinse, repeat: Pre-dooming the iPhone


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It’s a little early for Christmas but, let’s face it, any time is a good time for the Ghost of iPhones Future to visit Apple.

Writing for The Motley Fool, Ashraf Eassa defies the linear nature of time in order to doom the 2019 iPhone.

“Apple Inc.'s 2019 iPhone Problem.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Joel.)

You, a dullard: “The 2018 iPhone is doomed!”

Ashraf Eassa, a learned man of letters: “I say the 2019 iPhone is doomed!”

How does he do it?

Thanks to the introduction of the iPhone X, Eassa says, Apple is poised to have a great fiscal 2018 (Apple’s fiscal year starts in October). It’s the following year that the company will sink into a bog that will suddenly form in Cupertino. The bog may possibly be filled with acid, piranhas or sexy vampires. We simply don’t know at this point. The doom is for sure, however.

The 2019 iPhones, however, face the issue of potentially not seeing any significant form factor change. 

Is the Macalope the only (part) person who doesn’t make his buying decisions based solely on looks? He’s extremely happy with his iPhone SE, a device that features a form factor first introduced shortly after the Chitauri invasion of New York City.

To be clear, Apple will almost certainly introduce amazing feature and technology upgrades with its 2019 iPhones, but…

…who cares about that crap?! Put some fins on it, baby!

…but such feature upgrades in the iPhone 6s- and 7-series smartphones didn't stop both of those phones from failing to drive higher iPhone sales than what the company achieved with the iPhone 6-series phones.

This is true, but it’s not necessarily explained by the form factor. Apple ticktocked the form factor every two years since the iPhone 3-series and somehow managed to increase sales every year up until the iPhone 6s, even in the years it was just using the previous year’s form factor. It did this by introducing technologies people wanted like 3G, Siri and Touch ID. 3D Touch was probably less compelling but the plateauing of iPhone sales at the same time also has a lot to do with market saturation.

The solution, then, is clear: Apple must introduce some sort of noticeable form factor change with the 2019 iPhones if it wants to keep sales at least flat. 

Add this to the bonfire of the vanities that is the long-running “Apple must” genre.

Some people surely do like an updated form factor. But the iPhone’s history indicates people like compelling new technologies, too.

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