Apple’s ‘S’-Year iPhones Never Gone, It Stopped Advertising Them
Apple had several new features to announce with its iPhone 13 lineup this week. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature better battery life, faster A15 Bionic processors, smaller display notches, upgraded cameras, and, when it comes to the Pro models, higher refresh rates (120Hz promotion) display.
It’s a nice collection of updates, but take a step back and the range starts to look an awful lot like an iterative update compared to last year’s iPhone 12. They look almost identical to the squared-off design introduced with last year’s model, and Apple was careful not to directly compare the performance of its new A15 Bionic chip to last year’s A14 Bionic, only its competitors. From. There’s also no major new initiative like the MagSafe ecosystem that Apple kicked off last year, and on the bottom of the phone you’ll see the same old Lightning port instead of USB-C. It all sounds very familiar.
So it’s no surprise that very NS Technique Twitter It quickly responded to the phone’s announcement as a minor update to last year’s iPhone 12, aka “iPhone 12S”. This is how Apple used to name its phones. There will be a major update in a year, usually accompanied by a major design change, with another minor revision that changed some internal components and features, but the overall look and feel of the same. The iPhone 3GS, 4S, 5S, 6S and XS all used this approach. So what changed?
Apple started moving away from this formula with the 2016 iPhone 7. Not only did the iPhone 7 break the cycle by using a similar design to last year’s 6S instead of a facelift (aside, of course, from the infamously missing headphone jack), but it’s never had an S-model of its own. was adopted. Instead, the following year Apple jumped straight to the iPhone 8, a minor modification that deserved to be called the 7S, and which was completely overshadowed by that year’s iPhone X.
Since the 2018 iPhone XS, it seems that Apple has completely abandoned the S-suffix. There’s a new number every year, whether it’s a major overhaul like the iPhone 12 or a minor update like the iPhone 13.
Of course, Apple’s closest competitor in the US, Samsung, has been using this approach for years. Every subsequent Galaxy S device has bigger numbers than its predecessor, and no one wants to be the company with a phone with fewer numbers than its rival. In fact, if Apple Was An iPhone 7S released in 2017, it will compete against Samsung’s Galaxy S8. No wonder Apple jumped straight to the 8 and skipped the iPhone 9 altogether.
In retrospect it seems downright wild that Apple was ready to proudly broadcast that it was a one-off year. Unless you were the kind of smartphone user who wanted the most up-to-date iPhone from year to year, the S-suffix was a useful indication that a new model had only minor changes. “Don’t worry about upgrading this year, guys,” was the implied message.
But the reality was that smartphone technology was advancing so quickly at the time that even “minor” upgrades could still include massive new features. The iPhone 3GS was the first iPhone that could officially record video in addition to taking photos, the iPhone 4S introduced Apple’s Siri voice assistant to the world, and the 5S was the first iPhone with biometric security (a fingerprint sensor). These are all major additions we now take for granted on modern Apple devices, and they arrived with the relatively muted fanfare of the S-branded iPhone. S-branded iPhones also offered major camera improvements over the years: the 4S was the first with an 8-megapixel camera, the 5S added slow-motion video, and the 6S increased the rear camera’s resolution to 12 megapixels. Every year, Apple gives its customers a very good reason to upgrade.
The smartphone market is a very different place now. Smartphones have matured, and even midrange models offer basically everything most people really need a phone to do. Every year we’re told about the latest phone performance upgrades and edge-case camera improvements, but it’s nothing that’s going to completely change your life.
Consumers have taken notice. As of 2019, Far From Upgrading to the Latest iPhone Every Year CNBC told US customers waited an average of over two years to upgrade their phones, while those in the UK waited about 28 months. At the time, all these figures were trending upwards, and it seems safe to assume that they have become even taller in two years. It was also around this time that iPhone sales began to decline, and Apple stopped reporting on iPhone sales numbers, opting instead to bundle their numbers with other device categories.
Instead of focusing on big upgrades, Apple is prioritizing a larger lineup with devices to appeal to different tastes and price points. As recently as 2017, the company was selling just two flagship phones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The following year it released three (8, 8 Plus, and X), and last year it switched to four with the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max. With so many form factors to keep updated, it should come as no surprise that major overhauls have become less common.
Unless you really want the latest and greatest technology, there’s really no reason to upgrade every year, and that’s a good thing! It’s a lot more affordable for those who choose to buy their phone outright, and it’s a world better for the environment. Apple is now using more recycled materials in its devices, but manufacturing them and shipping them in the first place still uses up resources.
In this context, it should come as no surprise that Apple has changed over time. For starters, it’s making more efforts to make money outside of hardware, such as a broad range of subscription services covering everything from music and video streaming to gaming and home fitness. If it can’t make money from selling you a new iPhone every year, it sure will try to make money by streaming the latest season of Hell ted lasso.
That doesn’t mean that Apple has given up on the idea of selling you a new phone every year. far from it. If branding this year’s phone as the iPhone 13 tells us anything, it’s that Apple is more eager than ever to convince its customers to upgrade, replacing this year’s phone with the iPhone 12. Branding as a new range as opposed to more minor updates. The slow progress of smartphone technology means that Apple cannot rest on its reputation with S-branded devices. Everything should be brand new and as exciting as possible.
So yes, this year’s iPhones, and arguably needed The iPhone is branded as 12S. But the smartphone industry has changed, and Apple has changed with it.