Earlier this month I wrote about my friend who said he was bored of Apple, complaining that they just aren’t exciting any more [read: Does it matter if Apple isn't exciting any more?]. Now, having seen iOS 7 running on my iPhone 5, and the new iPhone 5c he is suddenly interested again. Nervous about installing iOS 7 on the iPhone 4 (since it’s pretty certain that it won’t run as smoothly as it does on my iPhone 5) and noting that to have any chance of getting 4G on his iPhone in the future, a new iPhone 5c or 5s is the way to go, he is finally enthusiastic about buying a new Apple product.
If iOS 7 and the new iPhones have already worked their magic on one person, chances are there are many other iPhone owners who are still using an iPhone 4, iPhone 4s or older, that might be thinking the same thing. Once they install iOS 7 on their old phone, enticed by the new features, they may start to wonder just how much better the new operating system might run on a brand new iPhone. And this year they will have a choice. They don’t have to upgrade to an expensive, top of the range iPhone because there is a less expensive version (ok, slightly less expensive iPhone).
If this turns out to be true then Apple can expect a lot of upgrades based on how great iOS 7 is, and how poorly it runs on older iPhones.
Of course there’s a risk that a few of those iPhone owners might get upset if the update doesn’t work the way they wanted it to, but since they already stuck with Apple through the Maps fiasco, chances are they will stick with them again.
What’s really interesting about this theory, from the perspective of Macworld, is whether the launch of OS X Mavericks later this year (we’re reckoning 30 October, early November) will encourage the same sort of behaviour. Just suppose that all those people who bought Macs a few years back install Mavericks and love it, but wonder how well it would run on a new Mac. We expect that Apple will be introducing a flood of Mac updates around the time of the release of Mavericks, along with the jaw dropping Mac Pro. Will these Mavericks installers be tempted to finally upgrade their Mac?
If this new hunger for updates takes hold, it’ll could be a good Christmas for Apple.
This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary in itself. The Christmas quarter is always a good one for Apple, so it’s a given that sales will be high. However, this is the first year that has seen all of Apple’s updates happen in time for the Christmas quarter. We’ve just been through a whole year where the only thing Apple actually updated was the MacBook Air. What was it waiting for?
iPhones launching in September is nothing unusual, but a year with hardly anything in the way of a Mac update, that’s odd. It’s not that Apple was waiting for the Haswell chip because that’s out already. Everyone expected the MacBook Pro with Retina display to make an appearance at WWDC, but now September or October seems more likely. Why the delay? There were rumours of problems with the production of the Retina display - perhaps Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t keen to make the mistake of last year when the company announced the iMac before there were adequate stocks available. We would hedge a guess that this is also the reason why Apple hasn’t yet announced the Haswell iMac.
Whatever the reason for the delay, expect an interesting few months in the Apple world. You can expect to see almost every Apple product updated along with the new Mac OS to accompany the iOS 7 update we’re all installing on our iPads and iPhones. Sorry about the pun, but this season Apple’s going to be ripe for picking.