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Why Apple no longer needs an iPhone 'wow factor'

Matt Kapko | March 24, 2016
Apple product reveals used to be watershed moments for the technology industry, but today Apple innovates in increments, as demonstrated by the new iPhone SE and smaller iPad Pro, and consumers continue to purchase Apple devices in droves.

The looks of popular smartphones, along with their feature sets, used to change with each new release, but most of today's advancements come in the form of software tweaks and improvements to internal components. And Apple isn't alone in this strategy; the mobile device industry at large has moved away from making major improvements to most of today's smartphones and tablets, Greengart says.

"Apple has already captured a large portion of the premium smartphone market," he says. "Stabilizing sales at this absurdly high and absurdly profitable level is not a bad thing for Apple, and does not help Apple's competitors. If Apple is going to grow rapidly again, it will likely come from new products that work with iPhones, not an improved phone." 

Even if Apple's two latest products lack the "wow factor," the company succeeded in packing the majority of features in its larger flagship iPhone 6s devices (with the exception of 3D Touch) into a 4-inch handset that is its most affordable iPhone ever. The iPhone SE may not wow users like previous iPhones, but it will sell, and that's what matters to Apple. "Apple is an aspirational brand, and consumers will continue to buy the products if they're near their price ceiling," Sharma says.


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