Asymco blogger Horace Dediu is a number-cruncher and IT commentator who researches and graphically interprets and analyzes various industry metrics. His blog is usually worth a look. An eight-year former employee of Nokia, with a MBA from Harvard Business School, Mr. Dediu, who lives in Helsinki, Finland is both experienced and well-connected in the fields he covers.
In an interview with Network World’s John Cox, published Friday, Mr. Dediu makes some interesting observations about last year’s iPhone 4S release, and what it portends regarding the upcoming release of a sixth-generation iPhone — AKA iPhone 5. He observes that the 4S was widely criticized by the tech press for a variety of purported shortcomings, but it became by far the best-selling iPhone model to date, because, says Dediu, it was a very much improved product over the iPhone 3GS, which was what most users who upgraded their iPhones has been using, given that average time interval of service for smartphones is about 24 months, and because the 4S, despite the criticisms of its detractors, offered a solid set of unique feature upgrades like Siri, a Retina Display and a higher-resolution camera. Dediu predicts that this formula will be applied again for the next iPhone and that it will be equally successful, adding that the tech press has been a good counter-indicator for market success.
If I’m interpreting his comment accurately, that would seem to imply another evolutionary upgrade rather than a revolutionary redesign from scratch, which would no doubt disappoint fans and pundits who have been anticipating the latter. Personally, my deductive anticipation has been that the 2012 iPhone will be a more revolutionary departure than the iPhone 4S was, but it’s difficult to gainsay that Apple’s strategy last fall was mistaken given the 4S’s stellar sales performance.
I suppose it also depends considerably on how one defines “revolutionary.” Would a 4-inch (ish) display, 4G support, and upgrades to existing features like Siri and the cameras be considered revolutionary enough?
Meanwhile the school of thought that’s been predicting a September new iPhone release got a bit of support from the Japanese Apple-watcher site Macotakara’s danbo, in a blog mainly about “a Chinese reliable source claiming that Apple’s forthcoming iPad mini will be produced by Foxconn’s new manufacturing facility in Brazil. However danbo also notes that this same insider source tells him that the rumored possibility of a new iPhone shipping in September, that was reported by DigiTimes “is getting closer to truth.”
Make of that what you will.