The iPhone 8 to launch to substantially large installed base
Apple (AAPL), as usual, is being secretive about its plans for the next iPhone, but the word on the street has it that the device would not only return Apple to top-line growth but also drive record iPhone shipments in the December quarter.
According to Nomura analyst Jeffrey Kvaal, the iPhone 8 would launch to a significantly larger iPhone-installed base than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 before it.
Kvaal projects that the iPhone-installed base will be 45%–50% larger by the time iPhone 8 is launched in September 2017, as compared to when the company launched iPhone 6 in 2014. This suggests a massive market for iPhone 8 within Apple’s ecosystem—if most existing iPhone owners decide to upgrade to iPhone 8.
Pulling customers from rivals
But a revolutionary iPhone 8 could also draw interest from Android and Windows users, allowing Apple to steal customers from rivals Samsung (SSNLF), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Sony (SNE), BlackBerry (BBRY), and others. Notably, Samsung has been dealing with a reputational problem since it had to recall millions of Galaxy Note 7 handsets over exploding batteries.
Supply chain leaks have suggested that the iPhone 8 could ship with a curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen and come enabled for a wireless charge. Additionally, rumors have it that Apple could remove physical buttons from the 2017 iPhone, making the device waterproof and increasing its customer appeal.
86 million iPhone sales in December 2017
If Apple launches a radically reworked iPhone 8 as speculated, Kvaal predicts the company will sell 86 million iPhones in the December quarter, with the new device accounting for 70% of the sales.
Apple sold 74.8 million iPhones in 4Q15.