iPhone release cycle

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iPhone release cycle

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:25 am

I'm due to upgrade my phone so I am curious when Apple will release new hardware in a phone. The rumor mill is just crazy, so I did my own research on iPhone release dates, paying attention to new hardware releases and not color or capacity changes:

Code: Select all
Model         Release date         Notes
1             June, 2007           Origin
3G            July, 2008           New in 12 months
3GS           June, 2009           Upgrade in 11 months
4             June, 2010           New in 23 months
4S            October, 2011        Upgrade in 16 months
5             September, 2012      New in 27 months


Pardoning my inability to format this chart on an iPhone, the release cycle for Apple hardware is getting longer over time. Apple could upset this trend, but based on the data we shouldn't see the iPhone 6 until 2015, and we should get a 5S by early 2014. Not worth waiting for new hardware if you want a phone now and you want an iPhone.
Last edited by FireGryphon on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IPhone release cycle

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:07 am

There has been an iPhone release every year since 2007, and all before the holidays.

This is a really small dataset, so the time increases you're seeing are more likely to be exaggerated, and can possibly be explained by other factors, like the introduction of the iPad, which expands the iOS line that the iPhone belongs to. In 2012, they also refreshed the iPod touch, so it definitely made sense to do a major release event in the fall to release everything before the holidays. That in mind, I do think that you're going to see the "5S" before November.
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Re: IPhone release cycle

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:41 pm

What does this look like with the iPad in the picture?

Code: Select all
1   April, 2010        Origin
2   March, 2011        New in 11 months
3   March, 2012        New in 12 months
4   November, 2012     New in 8 months


Let's combine the two charts and see if it makes any sense:

Code: Select all
Model                Release date         Notes
iPhone 1             June, 2007           iPhone released
iPhone 3G            July, 2008           New Hardware
iPhone 3GS           June, 2009           Upgraded
iPad                 April, 2010          iPad released
iPhone 4             June, 2010           New Hardware
iPad 2               March, 2011          New Hardware
iPhone 4S            October, 2011        Upgraded
iPad 3               March 2012           New Hardware
iPhone 5             September, 2012      New Hardware
iPad 4               November 2012        New Hardware


I see that the iPhone release cycle is getting longer while the iPad release cycle is getting shorter. Judging by the release dates above, Apple staggers releases so we see a steady stream of new hardware. The pattern isn't definite, but it indicates we'll see a new iPad before an iPhone with new hardware, and perhaps even before an upgraded iPhone.
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Re: iPhone release cycle

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:39 pm

Far too small for the sample sizes to tell us anything meaningful.

That said, there probably won't be a new iPhone for 9 months. I think you're safe to get a 5 and have the latest Apple device, at least for now.

BTW, my opinion is that the iPad 3 was a stopgap measure to get high-DPI panels ramped up, and now we're just going to see all iOS devices refreshed at roughly the same time over a 4-5 week period. Number didn't tell me that, it just seems to make sense. Q4 of the calendar year is the biggest sales period for everyone, might as well put up a fight.
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