Apple event: No new iPhone announced—do consumers care?

by | Jun 8, 2017 | Public Relations

Apple made no mention of a new iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote this week — and it doesn’t seem to matter to consumers.

Three in four loyal iPhone users say they won’t buy Apple’s rumored 10-year anniversary smartphone, according to new research from retail app platform Branding Brand. While they’re not planning to do anything crazy—only 2 percent say they will switch to an Android device—nearly half (45 percent) won’t trade in their current iPhone this year, and 27 percent will buy an iPhone model that already exists.

The firm conducted a consumer survey of 1,000 iPhone owners, June 2-5, 2017, to understand anticipation around the next generation “iPhone 8” and other Apple innovations.

Loyal customers aren’t impressed

Seventy-one percent of survey respondents have been an iPhone customer for five years or more, 21 percent for two-to-four years, and 8 percent for one year or less.

“Even though the majority of our survey respondents are long-term, dedicated iPhone customers, nearly 70 percent say they aren’t impressed with Apple’s iPhone innovation currently,” said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand, in a news release.

Excitement for AR and VR

Nearly half (46 percent) of survey respondents want augmented reality (AR) capabilities featured in Apple’s next smartphone. Overall, 24 percent want Apple to innovate virtual reality (VR) and AR capabilities and hardware.

“From a retail perspective, the biggest news to come out of WWDC was the ARKit, which will give developers and retailers the tools to create exciting augmented reality app experiences, like in-home try on and virtual interior design,” said Mason. “Apps are no longer simply an optional way for brands to create amazing digital shopping experiences. The new iOS 11 and features like Business Chat will make apps a necessity and key part of how retailers sell.”

When asked about other anticipated iPhone features, 26 percent of consumers are interested in wireless charging. Only 8 percent care about an edgeless screen, and 4 percent want to replace the home button with an in-screen touch sensor.

Apple Watch still stagnating

Eighty-one percent say they still won’t buy an Apple Watch, compared to 83 percent who said they wouldn’t in a similar survey conducted in August 2016.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter