With the 10th anniversary of the iPhone quickly approaching, all eyes are on the Cupertino-based company and its upcoming iPhone 8. Or iPhone X, depending on who you ask! There’s enough excitement that the latest reports from the Strategy Analytics and ScientiaMobile have largely gone unnoticed. While the world holds its breath waiting for Apple’s latest innovation to debut, the two organizations revealed surprising data regarding other members of the iPhone family.
In terms of sales, Apple enjoys a comfortable lead on its competitors. Strategy Analytics ranks the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in the world’s best-selling smartphones in Q1 2017, having sold 21.5 million and 17.4 million units respectively. The Oppo R9 comes in at a distant third with only 8.9 million units sold, while Galaxy J3 and J5 sit in fourth and fifth with a combined 11.1 million units.
This may all change in Q2, especially now that the new Galaxy S8 has finally hit the market. Even if how the Samsung flagship were to upset the victors, this study puts AAPL in a good spot. Two of its handsets dominate the top five best-selling smartphones. In the long-term, the iPhone 8 could join the list by Q4 if the hype around the new generation manifests in sales, slotting at least 3 Apple handsets into the top 5 spots.
While the 7 series proves to be the best-selling handset, ScientiaMobile reveals a surprising twist regarding the iPhone 6s. Despite the record-holding sales of the 7 in Q1 2017, the 6s remains the most used smartphone as of February of this year. ScientiaMobile’s Mobile Overview Report (MOVR) studied device usage trends, and it found that 8% of all global smartphone browsing comes from the iPhone 6s.
ScientiaMobile projects that 6s usage will continue to rise, even though it’s technically in competition with the 7 line and is set to go up against the 8 soon enough. Heavy usage, however, suggests there will be an opportunity for Apple to convince 6s owners to upgrade as their beloved handsets malfunction and take damage. Now that the 6s is approaching its 2nd birthday, glitches, reduced processing speeds, and other performance issues could push its owners towards newer generations.
Even cosmetic damage could persuade fans of the 6s to make the leap, despite alternative solutions to these nicks and scrapes. Applecare+ applies strict limitations that don’t cover cosmetic damages like scratches, dents, or broken plastic if there aren’t any internal issues impairing its functionality.
That leaves two options for people who own a scuffed iPhone 6s. On one hand, they can let the Apple marketing team convince them they need the 7. On the other hand, they could use a vinyl skin. Skin designers like dbrand offer vinyl applications that cover up these scratches without the need of replacing the unit altogether. iPhone 6s skins from dbrand are relatively slim additions measuring less than a millimeter thick, so they won’t disrupt the feel or use of these handsets. Their visual impact, however, can be as loud as the user prefers, as their iPhone skins come in a variety of vibrant colors and textures exclusive to dbrand, such as bamboo, dragon skin, and stylized stone. Whichever style you choose, it will add grip and scratch protection as it covers up any scuffs marking the handset.
When used carefully, the iPhone 6s can have a lengthy lifespan — one that may last long enough to see the iPhone 9 or 10. The challenge for Apple, if they hope to stack more handsets in the top five spots, becomes convincing these 6s users they need to switch to the next generation, despite owning a fully functioning smartphone equipped with a skin.
We’ll have to wait until the 8’s big debut to see if the mystery around the commemorative handset will be enough to dethrone the 6s as Apple’s most-used generation. Until then, it could be anyone’s guess.