The holidays arrive early next month when Apple is expected to unveil the sixth-generation iPhone. Here are six reasons, this iPhone could be the most popular yet.
Earlier this month, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller explained that each time his company introduces a new iPhone, they sell roughly as many units as all of the previous models combined. Now, one analyst is suggesting the same.
According to FBR Capital analyst Craig Berger, Apple could sell 250 million units of the new iPhone over the product’s life cycle. If correct, this lines up perfectly with our own analysis, which suggested Apple could see 245 million units being sold over the same timeframe.
Pent up demand
Like the iPhone 3GS before it, the iPhone 4S was little more than an incremental update. This means that Apple has essentially been selling the same iPhone since June 2010. Now, 27 months later, and there is a lot of pent up demand for the next handset, which should look significantly different than the 4S/4. Most rumors suggest the sixth generation handset will be longer and thinner than previous models.
Early next year, China Mobile is expected to begin selling the iPhone for the very first time. Currently, China’s largest wireless carrier has 683 million subscribers. As AllThingsD confirms, this number is more than twice that of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint combined.
More carriers and choices than ever before
When the iPhone 4 debuted, AT&T was the only carrier in the U.S. to support it. Since then, the number of iPhone carriers here has grown significantly. In total, 11 U.S. providers now carry the iPhone, including two that offer the handset without a contract. When the next iPhone is unveiled, T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier could join that list.
Couple this with the likelihood that Apple will probably keep the 4S and 4 around at discounted prices, and it becomes clear that Apple’s handset is available in more locations than ever before.
Smartphones are popular
The smartphone market in general is growing. In May, the number of smartphones sold finally surpassed those of more traditional handsets. Of those, Apple and Samsung controlled 90 percent of the profits from that market. With the arrival of the next iPhone, that market will almost certainly grow again.
Finally, the next iPhone isn’t just a smartphone, but rather a gateway to Apple’s overall iOS ecosystem. Once folks buy Apple’s handset, they begin purchasing apps that can also work on the iPad. And these apps will almost certainly work on the long-rumored “iPad mini,” which could also debut next month.
Because of this, consumers are much more likely to remain an Apple customer, and upgrade their cell phones accordingly.
As a reminder, Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone on Sept. 12. Nine days later, the handset should arrive in stores in the U.S. and in other countries.