Apple is counting on iPhone 13 battery life enhancements to drive gross sales


iPhone 13 Pro

Source: Apple Inc.

Apple announced new iPhone models on Tuesday, which is an annual tradition for the company ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The new models called iPhone 13 are not much of a step forward over the previous year’s models.

The previous year’s models received 5G connections and a new, flatter design. This year’s four new models look similar, have the same screen sizes, faster processors and offer new photo functions for experienced users.

But Apple has unveiled and emphasized an improvement that anyone who picks up the new models will appreciate: longer battery life.

The emphasis on longer battery life during Apple’s launch event underscores the challenges the company is facing: it is expected to bring a much better device to market each year in order to grow sales in a maturing market, the bigger one Breakthroughs become rarer.

Improvements in screen image, processor speed, or camera quality may appeal to some – photo professionals especially – but the changes every year require a closer eye to perceive them.

All four new models will get at least 90 minutes more battery life with normal use, Apple said. The largest and most expensive model – the $ 1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max – as well as the best-selling mainline iPhone will have 150 minutes more battery life than last year’s models, Apple said.

For example, according to Apple’s website, the iPhone 12 gets 17 hours of video playback. The iPhone 13 manages 19 hours, which means almost 12% more battery life.

According to many surveys, battery life also remains one of the most important characteristics for consumers. In a 2019 survey by SurveyMonkey, 76% of iPhone owners said longer battery life was a feature they’d love to upgrade their phones.

Another feature that scores highly in surveys is storage space. Apple doubled the standard storage space of the iPhone 13 to 128GB on Tuesday without increasing the price.

Apple emphasizes these improvements, while Wall Street wonders if the company can keep the iPhone’s momentum going. IPhones accounted for about half of Apple’s sales in 2020, despite efforts to diversify into headphones, accessories, and online services.

Apple also faces difficult comparisons with last year’s increased sales. In the quarter that ended in June, Apple sold nearly $ 40 billion worth of iPhones. That is more than 49% more than in the same period in 2020.

When Apple launches different-looking iPhones, they often see sales spurts that some analysts call the company’s “super cycle”. Analysts are already wondering whether the iPhone 13 will sell compared to last year’s model, even though the iPhone 12 hit the market in October and November, later than this year’s release date in September.

Investors have concerns about “material moderation on upgrades” of 5G phones after the momentum of Apple’s releases last year, JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee wrote in a notice distributed by Apple just prior to the launch.

In its presentation, Apple said the increases will be driven by larger batteries made possible by an in-house redesign, as well as optimizing its processors to use energy more efficiently.

While Apple can’t break the laws of physics – bigger batteries mean more power – its ability to develop the iPhone’s hardware, including its chip and display, and its iOS software means that the company is in full control of many more big power hogs that zap battery life and can optimize it to squeeze a little more juice.

In a challenging sales cycle compared to last year, Apple is giving its customers what they want: more storage space and longer battery life.