It appears that the majority of customers are willing to pay more money to own an iPhone boasting more premium, technologically advanced features, according to an analysis conducted by one prominent Apple research firm, whose findings were recently published in The Wall Street Journal.
More specifically, Timothy Arcuri of Cowen & Company went on record speculating that Apple sold around 58.5 million iPhone 7 handsets during its fiscal first-quarter ending December 30 — 24 million (or 40%) of which, he believes, were of the larger, more premium iPhone 7 Plus variety. What Arcuri was quick to point out, however, is that the sales estimate of 24 million iPhone 7 Plus units actually represents a sizable, 17% increase in year-over-year sales (compared to Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus handset, which launched during the same quarter of 2015.)
“The iPhone base wants a new, cooler iPhone. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for a product with newer, cooler features,” Arcuri noted, adding that the lesser-expensive, base-model iPhone 7 “doesn’t deliver.”
Launched in September of 2016, Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were somewhat different from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus before them, mainly in that they were the first devices of the same lineage to offer up slightly differing feature sets. For instance, while the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are essentially identical in the software and internal components departments, the larger, iPhone 7 Plus — for an additional $120 premium over its smaller-screened counterpart — offers users a dramatically beefed-up, DSLR-like camera module, as well as the larger, 5.5-inch screen, an additional gigabyte of RAM, and a larger battery.
So while we’re still awaiting Apple’s official fiscal first-quarter earning results, which are slated for reveal on January 31, the considerable increase in iPhone 7 Plus sales is, as Arcuri believes, a clear indication that customers are hungering for more premium, feature-rich phones — and that they’re certainly not afraid to pay the price, either.
Yet this news comes as iPhone sales, on the whole, remain at their most stagnant levels in years. Most Wall Street analysts, for example, are warning of an overall, cautiously optimistic 4% growth in iPhone sales, year-over-year, which would make Apple’s iPhone 7 the first ‘whole-number’ upgrade to have increased by a single-digit percentage in the last several years. For instance, the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 6 spawned a sales increase of approximately 46% during its 2014 launch season; and, two years prior to that, the company’s iPhone 5 bolstered an overall sales increase of 29% during its launch quarter.
Of course, whether or not customers are truly willing to ‘pay more’ for a more advanced, feature-rich iPhone will become resoundingly clearer this fall, when Apple is all but certain to unveil its highly anticipated, 10th anniversary iPhone, featuring uber-premium specs like a 5.5-5.8-inch curved OLED display, wireless charging, better IP68 waterproofing, and much more.
Are you among those who are willing to pay more money for a more premium iPhone? Let us know in the comments!