Apple to Switch to 3-Year iPhone Product Refresh Cycle: Nikkei

Earlier reports claimed that a major iPhone redesign will only land next year, but this might just be the start of an extended product cycle: Japanese newspaper Nikkei report that Apple will likely switch the current two-year cycle to a three-year iPhone product refresh cycle.

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A move like this will significantly affect suppliers from Asia and Japan, because of their reliance on iPhone orders.

The reporter cites two reasons to extend the product refresh cycle: 1) the current, two year cycle leaves little room for major enhancements and 2) the slowing market.

Apple has sold 230 million iPhones last year, and it estimates to meet the same target this year, at least according to supply chain orders, says Nikkei. The company has reported the sale of 74.8 million iPhones for the first quarter and 51.2 million units for the second fiscal quarter. An earlier report claimed the company bets high on the iPhone 7, as it has allegedly ordered up to 78 million units.

As for the upcoming model, Nikkei’s sources corroborated earlier reports of Apple dropping the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and say the handset will sport an improved water resistance and camera. The Plus model will be capable of shooting better quality images, thanks to the incorporated “correction functions.”

An interesting addition to the already circulating rumours is what Nikkei’s sources say about the iPhone that will be unveiled next year: “The new device will also be able to create more complex tactile vibrations on the display because of a tiny, but high-performance motor equipped inside,” the newspaper claims.