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Lines at Apple stores should start dying down following the unveiling of the iPhone 8—at least, that’s what we’ve come to expect any other time a new model has rolled out. Instead, people are queueing up to buy Apple’s discounted iPhone 7, a device it released more than a year ago.
Apple’s old iPhone 7 is outselling the new iPhone 8, according to Reuters, citing broker KeyBanc Capital Markets. And while it’s not unusual to see a sales bump for an older device after a price reduction, the iPhone that replaces it traditionally outsells its predecessor by a wide margin.
But not this year. It appears users are willing to forgo wireless charging and a much-improved camera to purchase the iPhone 7 at a discounted price. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 are similar in many ways and it’s easy to see why consumers don’t feel compelled to upgrade. For one, both phones sport the same thick-bezel design that looks outdated when compared to this year’s other flagship phones. Both phones also have the same display technology and similar camera specs (the iPhone 8 does have an improved sensor). The iPhone 8 starts at $700 while the iPhone 7 is now $550 after a price cut.
“Many respondents indicated that a meaningful portion of customers are buying iPhone 7 in lieu of the new iPhone 8, given the lack of significant enhancements in the new phone,” KeyBanc analyst John Vinh wrote in a client note.
Others are holding out for Apple’s iPhone X, the company’s new flagship that comes with an OLED edge-to-edge display, stainless steel frame, and Face ID authentication. The iPhone X costs $1,000 and will start shipping on Nov. 3. Until the X is released, we won’t know if Apple customers are saving up for the new flagship or holding off entirely.
What is clear is that a lack of innovation in the industry is giving customers less reason to upgrade older devices. AT&T reported it had 900,000 fewer smartphone upgrades in the third quarter this year compared to last year.
H/T the Verge
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.