Big shift: demand for dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus surges past standard iPhone 7

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
For the first time ever, order demand among early iPhone buyers has decisively shifted to Apple's Plus-sized model compared to the standard 4.7 inch version. If sustained, a shift to the higher-end would mean even greater profits for Apple, which is already basking in reports of enthusiastic demand for its latest and greatest iPhone.




An apparent trend toward big



As noted in analytics compiled by Slice Intelligence, the model breakdown among Apple's original pairing of a standard 4.7 inch and larger 5.5 inch Plus during the 2014 iPhone 6 launch favored the standard model in a ratio of 65 to 35.

The next year, that ratio shifted slightly in favor of the larger iPhone 6s Plus, with 59 percent ordering the standard and 41 percent opting for a 6s Plus.

This year, that apparent trend toward larger phones has continued, but has both accelerated and created a new frontrunner: the 7 Plus currently accounts for a leading 55 percent of orders, compared to only 45 percent getting a standard.

Not just bigger, better: the dual camera iPhone 7 Plus



In addition to what appears to be a steady, incremental adoption of larger models, demand for the iPhone 7 Plus is also no doubt nudged up by its exclusive introduction of a dual camera system that enables users to shoot in both a standard wide angle as well as with a zoom feature and a novel mode for capturing dramatic portraits.

Both iPhone 7 models incorporate a variety of other camera enhancements, from a higher resolution front facing FaceTime camera to a rear shooter with a larger aperture and bigger pixels for better capturing detail in poorly lit settings, a particular weakness among mobile cameras.

However, the new dual camera system appears to offer much greater differentiation between the 7 and 7 Plus compared to the previous iPhone 6 and 6s launches, where the only major difference between the two models (apart from size and screen resolution) was that the Plus version sported Optical Image Stabilization.

The improvement offered by OIS--which intends to steady out hand movement, allowing the camera lens to capture more light without being blurred by camera movements--didn't translate into an obvious, ubiquitously usable new feature the way that the 7 Plus' second telephoto lens and sensor does.

Is iPhone SE shifting the demand ratio?



On the other hand, the rapid shift toward Plus sizes among earlier orders this year may also be related to the introduction of iPhone SE, an even smaller 4 inch phone that carries forward the classic, compact iPhone 5 body with an internal overhaul that gave it iPhone 6/6s specification in processing and camera capabilities.

If a significant number of standard sized iPhone 6 users made a move to the even smaller SE in a vote of support for smaller, more portable iPhones, the remaining statistics for iPhone 7 preorders would naturally shift upward, exaggerating the increase in demand for largest largest iPhone model available.

Slice comparison data is based on orders placed in the first two days of an iPhone launch, which would help to capture early adopters who are enthralled with the latest products and most likely to spend liberally to obtain the best new gear and be among the first to make use of it.

Going forward, demand for the higher-end 6 Plus could certainly return to parity with (or slip behind) the volume of users who buy a basic standard 7. However, just comparing the launch data with previous years makes a compelling case for the extra investment Apple pushed into the 7 Plus this year, to entice premium buyers to upgrade and premium customers of Apple's rivals to switch.

Bad news for competitors, detractors



It's of particular benefit to Apple that Samsung's current product recall issues are not affecting its low-end products but are instead laser focused on the company's most expensive, most profitable and highest-end flagship "phablet." And not only is the Note 7 being recalled due to extreme fire risk, but Samsung currently lacks any production inventory to immediately replace them.

That means Samsung will either have to downgrade recall users to the smaller Galaxy S7 and refund the higher price premium, or it will have to issue full refunds that will likely help accelerate switchers to iOS. The longer this issue drags out, the worse it will be for Samsung's brand image.

The other good news for Apple is how much the enthusiastic demand for iPhone 7 models is completely humiliating the pundits and tech industry journalists who have been stridently insisting all year long that demand for high end phones was drying up and blowing away, and that Apple lacked any tricks up its sleeves for attracting new buyers to its latest products.

Across the tech media, various journalists have conspired to invent the narrative of a boring iPhone 7, lacking any factual basis, and then repeated it until the message was broadly believed to be true.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    edited September 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    Accept you can't actually buy the PLUS in any color or size at any store in the USA for the next 30 days according to our store manager. 

    Terrible launch. Shameful for Apple. Right up there with Angela's watch launch that saw no actual watches in the stores till two weeks after launch. 

    If we wait and buy the plus on October 16th when the stores get them in the signing up for extended plan means next year no iPhone 8 till October 17th?  No thank you. 

    First ihone i wasnt wasn't able to upgrade grade to because they had none. I don't mean the color I wanted. I mean NONE!  As in no PLUS in stores period. That NONE
  • Reply 3 of 24
    All my previous phones have been  4" screens with 16 gig storage. Got the SE earlier this year with that configuration because I don't need a lot of storage for what I use the little one for. It's my constant companion.

    With this camera on the 7 plus, (and a nicer design and color) for the first time I went for the 7 plus with 128 gig of storage. I just think each phone size have their own use-case and with the 7 plus I expect to take more videos and pictures and with the added power of the processor do light editing right on it instead of sending it to my mac.
    I think people take way more photos than ever, and want the best camera with them at all times. And a SLR is not going to travel well with most people. As they say, the best camera is the one you have on you. 
    edited September 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,546member
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    pscooter63
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Whether it's protected or not would make little difficult to Samsung. 
    mejsric
  • Reply 6 of 24
    razormaid said:
    Accept you can't actually buy the PLUS in any color or size at any store in the USA for the next 30 days according to our store manager. 

    Terrible launch. Shameful for Apple. Right up there with Angela's watch launch that saw no actual watches in the stores till two weeks after launch. 

    If we wait and buy the plus on October 16th when the stores get them in the signing up for extended plan means next year no iPhone 8 till October 17th?  No thank you. 

    First ihone i wasnt wasn't able to upgrade grade to because they had none. I don't mean the color I wanted. I mean NONE!  As in no PLUS in stores period. That NONE

    If only those production lines were churning out iPhone 7 Plus' instead of those defective Samsung Galaxy Note 7s...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    It appears that Apple didn't anticipate the Plus demand.  Honestly, would anyone here have?  I'll bet it's a very pleasant surprise, just like exploding Galaxies.  I'm going all in...  Plus 256 + Watch.  
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24

    Imagine another cheap iPhone 7SE this Feb-Mars to battle with Galaxy S8.
    Note7 eliminated and next Galaxy S8.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24

    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    It will be hard to copy it for their Galaxy S8, otherwise, if they make S8 big but that makes sound like releasing Note8.
    edited September 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    razormaid said:
    Accept you can't actually buy the PLUS in any color or size at any store in the USA for the next 30 days according to our store manager. 

    Terrible launch. Shameful for Apple. Right up there with Angela's watch launch that saw no actual watches in the stores till two weeks after launch. 

    If we wait and buy the plus on October 16th when the stores get them in the signing up for extended plan means next year no iPhone 8 till October 17th?  No thank you. 

    First ihone i wasnt wasn't able to upgrade grade to because they had none. I don't mean the color I wanted. I mean NONE!  As in no PLUS in stores period. That NONE
    So you make an extra payment and get your phone in September.  I am not happy about the plus not being available as well, but that doesn't mean you need to wait next year. 
  • Reply 11 of 24
    As for copying the dual camera, I believe the advantage of integrated software/hardware keeps on tipping in Apple's favour.  They have a massive team working on photography and it is not just sticking 2 cameras in a phone - it is custom image processing chips that integrate with features in iOS.  So really Google has to really ramp up integration with their OEMs to just try to catch up on the experience and most of them won't want to standardize on the two cameras, etc.   Samsung likely has the ability to copy with their custom software and scale but it won't be as seamless as Apple and by then Apple will be on version 2.  
    firelockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    roakeroake Posts: 621member
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Samsung isn't worried about "legally" anything.  They just copy technology and drag out any courtroom fight long enough that their profits far outweigh any fine levied by a judge.
    edited September 2016 watto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 13 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,019member
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    Even the software based "bokeh" effect was used in a few other smartphones in previous years.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-battle-of-the-bokeh-cameras-Huawei-Honor-6-Plus-versus-HTC-One-M8_id66129

    There's several current smartphones sporting dual cameras. with models from Huawei and LG being the most prominent. There's even another totally unique one from Lenovo that has a third infrared lens for adding depth. Smartphone camera tech is advancing fast. 
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 14 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    kamilton said:
    It appears that Apple didn't anticipate the Plus demand.  Honestly, would anyone here have?  I'll bet it's a very pleasant surprise, just like exploding Galaxies.  I'm going all in...  Plus 256 + Watch.  
    I think it's just as likely that their production of 7 plus is limited by production constraints, not by their estimates of demand. By now, after years of this sort of launch, they know that initial stock will be short, and the only rational way to prepare is to max out whatever the supply chain can provide. 

    This is exactly why they've decided to withold early sales figures, before they had any info on orders from customers. The figures amount to a trade secret, since they would reveal what Apple can physically produce.
    edited September 2016 nolamacguy
  • Reply 15 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,546member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    Even the software based "bokeh" effect was used in a few other smartphones in previous years.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-battle-of-the-bokeh-cameras-Huawei-Honor-6-Plus-versus-HTC-One-M8_id66129

    There's several current smartphones sporting dual cameras. with models from Huawei and LG being the most prominent. There's even another totally unique one from Lenovo that has a third infrared lens for adding depth. Smartphone camera tech is advancing fast. 
    The IR camera for depth seems like a good idea, although I'd think radio waves would be better suited.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,460member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    Even the software based "bokeh" effect was used in a few other smartphones in previous years.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-battle-of-the-bokeh-cameras-Huawei-Honor-6-Plus-versus-HTC-One-M8_id66129

    There's several current smartphones sporting dual cameras. with models from Huawei and LG being the most prominent. There's even another totally unique one from Lenovo that has a third infrared lens for adding depth. Smartphone camera tech is advancing fast. 
    The IR camera for depth seems like a good idea, although I'd think radio waves would be better suited.
    Just use an IR laser.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    Even the software based "bokeh" effect was used in a few other smartphones in previous years.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-battle-of-the-bokeh-cameras-Huawei-Honor-6-Plus-versus-HTC-One-M8_id66129

    There's several current smartphones sporting dual cameras. with models from Huawei and LG being the most prominent. There's even another totally unique one from Lenovo that has a third infrared lens for adding depth. Smartphone camera tech is advancing fast. 
    The IR camera for depth seems like a good idea, although I'd think radio waves would be better suited.
    But how would radio waves be relected back? If you're imagining radar, wouldn't you have microwave radiation coming out of a phone, since that's the frequency you need for detectable reflection? Infrared, by contrast, is harmless, nonionizing, and already detectable by odinary image sensors. IR emitters would be useless in bright light, but then you can use natural frequencies that IR film, for example, has been used for to get heat signatures. 

    What am I missing here? (Edit: tmay gives an answer above; an IR laser solution might be useful in bright visible light scenes — but safe for biological sensors, i.e., eyes?)
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 18 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,546member
    flaneur said:
    Soli said:
    The IR camera for depth seems like a good idea, although I'd think radio waves would be better suited.
    But how would radio waves be relected back? If you're imagining radar, wouldn't you have microwave radiation coming out of a phone, since that's the frequency you need for detectable reflection? Infrared, by contrast, is harmless, nonionizing, and already detectable by odinary image sensors. IR emitters would be useless in bright light, but then you can use natural frequencies that IR film, for example, has been used for to get heat signatures. 

    What am I missing here?
    You're not missing anything. I'm the one that didn't think about the the negative affects or utility of microwave radiation in a cellphone. Just place phone, camera down on your Hot Pocket for 2 minutes¡
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I have question, is the dual-lens camera design on iPhone 7+ a proprietary trademark; or it is something that any company *cough*Samsung*cough* can legally copy?
    Dual-lens itself is not protectable. I'm not even sure their SW-based bokeh would be. Qualcomm is already on it, and I'm sure that others can find some previous usage of dual cameras in a phone. The FirePhone had four cameras just on the front, right?

    Even the software based "bokeh" effect was used in a few other smartphones in previous years.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-battle-of-the-bokeh-cameras-Huawei-Honor-6-Plus-versus-HTC-One-M8_id66129

    There's several current smartphones sporting dual cameras. with models from Huawei and LG being the most prominent. There's even another totally unique one from Lenovo that has a third infrared lens for adding depth. Smartphone camera tech is advancing fast. 
    The IR camera for depth seems like a good idea, although I'd think radio waves would be better suited.
    Depends on the application, dual camera can be used to measure depth. Disparity created by dual camera system can be used to retrieve the depth information from 2D images. This is well studied problem in computer vision and many well known open source computer vision library provided the building block to do task like this. Of course, good IR camera would give better measurement. However, if your application is not requiring the very accurate depth info, dual camera system can be good enough and it would be much cheaper if phone already have dual camera.

    As many people pointed out, dual camera has been used by many phone manufactures for more than 2-3 years. It is nothing new and SW (probably DSP based) based bokeh also been used by many vendors.  

    One thing that I didn't see much company doing it (or talking about) are apple's use of dual camera to do zoom (blend of optical and digital zoom). I'm not sure why many phone companies who put the dual camera on their phone didn't look into much on this feature before. I felt that this is the single most important feature that I am missing from any mobile phone camera compare to point and shoot camera.  Maybe, they thought zooming is not as cool as some other features that they thought they could do with dual camera.Optical zoom is not flash features like SW bokeh but I think (optical) zoom is the feature that will be used most by many users. (how many parents try to take the picture of their little ones who are doing dance or play sports at far distance?)  
  • Reply 20 of 24
    razormaid said:
    Accept you can't actually buy the PLUS in any color or size at any store in the USA for the next 30 days according to our store manager. 

    Terrible launch. Shameful for Apple. Right up there with Angela's watch launch that saw no actual watches in the stores till two weeks after launch. 

    If we wait and buy the plus on October 16th when the stores get them in the signing up for extended plan means next year no iPhone 8 till October 17th?  No thank you. 

    First ihone i wasnt wasn't able to upgrade grade to because they had none. I don't mean the color I wanted. I mean NONE!  As in no PLUS in stores period. That NONE
    yes, because as head of retail she's responsible for manufacturing inventory. 

    please try to think before you type, lest one get the hopefully mistaken impression that you're faulting her because she's a woman. 
    Soliwatto_cobra
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