Every year, Apple holds an event revealing the next generation of iPhones. But have you ever wondered why they stick to such a consistent release schedule compared to other products like the iPad or MacBook?
Well, that’s what I’ll explain right now.
So back when the iPhone was first announced in 2007, the iPod was Apple’s highest-selling product. But that quickly changed when iPhone took the top spot in 2010. And this shift was important since a company tends to focus most of its resources on their most profitable products. Prior to the iPhone, the iPod received annual upgrades. But as its sales were eclipsed by the iPhone, it was upgraded less frequently. With most models eventually being discontinued.
Annual iPhone releases ensure customers have the opportunity to upgrade their devices are often as possible and maximize the company’s annual profit. In recent years, Apple has made upgrading more affordable by introducing initiatives like their trade-in program. Giving customers a discount on a new iPhone when trading in their old model. And their iPhone upgrade program.
Giving customers access to the latest iPhone model by paying a flat monthly rate throughout the year. This is in contrast to the carrier subsidy approach in the early days of the iPhone. In order to make the device more affordable, carriers would pay a portion of the iPhone’s upfront cost to attract new users to their network. But the deal required a two-year contract. Which meant users wouldn’t be able to buy the latest iPhone on an annual basis.
And this could be part of the reason why Apple used to release major iPhone updates every two years. With an incremental S model in-between. But recently Apple has broken from that pattern. Making more significant upgrades every year with the iPhone 11, 12 and 13. Likely to further entice existing users to upgrade, especially now that two-year contracts are a thing of the past.
But if you think Apple releasing new iPhones every year is excessive, you may want to consider their competition. Companies like Samsung and Huawei continuously release new phones throughout the year. This not only helps boost their sales but puts pressure on Apple to keep up with the latest Android offerings.