History of hysteria: How much of Apple do consumers want?

History of hysteria: How much of Apple do consumers want?
iPhone announcements generate as much as more than twice as much buzz for its fans compared to its competitors.

dubai - Interest on each iPhone has varied year by year.



By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Thu 13 Sep 2018, 8:53 PM

The iPhone has developed a cult following, but despite the annual anticipation, hype and first-day-of-sales queues, interest on each iPhone has varied year by year.

In the UAE alone, the iPhone following is very evident. Khaleej Times has witnessed how the country's three Apple Stores - two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi - welcome thousands of customers on launch day, a good number of which queue up as early as before 6am.

And even before the stores were opened - particularly, with the iPhone 6 - loyal fans have lined up at retailers for midnight launches.

On a global scale, while there is indeed constant interest in new iPhones, the level varies each year because of specific reasons.

An extensive study from trade-in price-comparison site BankMyCell shows that, for starters, iPhone announcements generate as much as more than twice as much buzz for its fans compared to its competitors.

In terms of buyer interest, the iPhone 6 posted the highest spike in the study, with a 100 per cent rise in September 2014. This is most probably because of its redesign, the first complete overhaul Apple made with its flagship.

And speaking of that metric, curiously, last year's iPhone X - the next major redesign - peaked at 'only' 78 per cent in November 2017; its high price tag may have been a factor in not matching up with the two highest on the list. The devices that were launched alongside it, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, rose 50 per cent in September of that year.

Second to the iPhone 6 was the iPhone 5 in 2012, with a 98 per cent spike in September of that year. Again, design played a major role: the iPhone 5 was the first in the line to feature a bigger screen.

If you overlay this with reselling, it was practically a given that the two devices preceding the iPhone 5 and 6, the 4S and 5S, come in at one and two, with interest growing 29 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.

A consequence of this interest is the price of the phones put up for resale: the study found out that when the iPhone 6 was announced, valuations of the iPhone 5 shot up to as much as 1,400 per cent.

Design has apparently affected interest in the iPhone: after the iPhone 5 and 6, there was a drop in this figure. The lull was more notable with the latter: with the same design as the 6, interest in the 6S and 7 inched up only 51 per cent and 65 per cent, respectively, in September of the years they were launched (2015 and 2016).

The iPhone SE, meanwhile, piqued only a 31 per cent rise in interest in April 2016.

The study zeroed in on a specific period to magnify this exercise even more. Compared with three months before, queries for the iPhone 3G posted the highest increase, spiking 230 per cent. The iPhone 4 was next with 217.65 per cent, followed by the iPhone 6 with 203.03 per cent.

Related to this, trade-in interest peaked at 100 per cent for the iPhone 5, followed by the iPhone 6. In the three-month window, the iPhone 3G once again topped with a 366.67 per cent leap, followed by the iPhone 5 (354.55 per cent) and iPhone 4 (312.5 per cent).

The iPhone SE, once again, was a downer: the three-month comparison showed 3.03 per cent less interest in buying it and an even worse 10 per cent less interest in trade-in. A reason for the latter is that users are keen to keep it as a trophy, being the last of its design.

- alvin@khaleejtimes.com
(Reporting from San Jose, California)


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