Apple's iOS 7 to test new design approach

Apple's iOS 7 to test new design approach

Summary: Analysts are wondering out loud whether iOS 7 and its flatter design will have enough of a new look to drive demand for the iPhone.


Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off Monday and the main attraction is likely to be iOS 7 and whether or not design chief Jony Ive can bring his hardware mojo to mobile software.

As widely noted, Apple's latest iOS is supposed to have a flatter design. Analysts are wondering out loud whether iOS 7 will have enough of a new look to drive demand for the iPhone. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said iOS is expected to be "drastically transformed." It remains to be seen if that prediction pans out. Apple could go the refresh and tweak route before doing something jarring.


BGC analyst Colin Gillis said that expectations for Apple's WWDC powwow are low. Indeed, there's not a lot on the table beyond iOS 7, the first version under Ive. Gillis noted:

The question we look to see answered is if the new iOS look is visually stunning enough to accelerate demand for the iPhone.

That's a tall order for any mobile operating system, but analysts such as Cowen & Co.'s Matthew Hoffman said iOS 7 will hopefully "spur upgrades of older hardware and capture the attention of new users." By older hardware, analysts appear to be hoping everything below iPhone 4S has to be replaced.

Also: 5 (very unlikely) things I'd like to see announced at WWDC 2013 | Handicapping the potential WWDC '13 announcements | iRadio's hidden masterpiece: Getting iAd into the mainstream | WWDC 2013 to announce iOS 7, OS X 10.9 previews: What else?

More importantly, iOS 7 could be the first installment of a broader move to more services. Gillis made another, more notable point:

Apple’s weakness in building a meaningful advertising platform to assist in monetizing its user base may become more glaring as the smartphone market continues to mature. We expect the market is going to continue to tilt towards subsidized or no-profit hardware with an eye to the total lifetime value of a customer. This benefits companies that can generate meaningful advertising, subscription and commerce revenue from its users, and could hurt companies such as Apple that generate the majority of their profits from the initial sale of hardware.

Simply put, the mobile market may tilt more toward the business models deployed by Google and Amazon. If that's the case, Apple will have to step up its cloud services game as well as utilize all of its customer data via iTunes and its App Store.

Apple is more likely to be successful with the customer data treasure trove. In that regard, iOS 7 may be a first step to integrating payment systems. Apple has dabbled, but mobile payments haven't done so well as technologies like NFC are still in the infant stage. Nevertheless, Apple has all the tools to create an iWallet and boost the lifetime value of a customer.

Topics: Apple, iOS, Mobile OS, Mobility

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  • They Need To Stop Being So Controlling

    The success of Android, and the threat of further Linux-based mobile OSes entering the market, should have convinced both Apple and Microsoft by now that closed, centrally-controlled platforms can never move fast enough to keep up with the market. Their only hope is to adopt a more open, flexible strategy.

    Everything else is just window-dressing. Sadly, both companies seem preoccupied with just that.
    • Agree completely

      You need to open your platform so that third parties can fill the voids you've left. That is the reason why Windows 8 is such a great product (need an App that isn't written for Windows, go ahead and run Android apps on it!) and why WP8 feels so claustrophobic (need to email a PDF, sorry sucka).
      x I'm tc
      • They should get rid of the start button...

        But they can't. Microsoft has already patented "getting rid of the start button" as a design feature.
    • No thanks, Android can keep its viruses

      and its 10,000 different UIs.
      • nonsence

        Android in the real world works great. Have never had an Android virus on my tablet or phone not to mention my many Windows PC's. I service computers and have only had to clean out a bit of annoying spyware the last few years.
        Apple hardware is getting more boring every time they refresh it.
        And I've owned a Mac book air Ipad and Ipod touch.
        They are decent products but stuck in a rut.
        Too bad if they were more open and innovative with hardware trends like memory expansion/flash/phone screen size/upgrade-ability etc. they would be hard to beat. As they are presently not that appealing to the well informed.
        • Different wants does not make somebody well informed

          Just because you want something different does not make you well informed. I am well informed and have no interest in flash on my phone or to carry around a big brick of a phone to get a larger screen when I have a tablet. Memory expansion you say, why would I need that when I use half the available storage on my phone because I don't load it with everything I can, just want a want/need on a regular basis? Certain Android devices are apparently a better fit for you while I am very happy with my iOS devices, nothing wrong with that as we all have different taste. Those different tastes to not make you more well informed though.
          • the debate is not about keeping certain users happy

            We all know that there are many people who only use their device for simple business use and even domestic users content with web browsing and email. No one has to be well informed to know that. I also don't need to be "well informed" to know that Apple want to make significant gains in market share. That means tempting people away from android and other platforms. As for screen size I too have a tablet but don't carry my tablet everywhere I go and gave up on iphone initially just to get the biggest screen that would fit my pocket - the galaxy S3 does that and I can now read books comfortably on my phone.
            Android has gained their market share because they recognised that, as you say there are different needs, and are attempting to meet as many as possible.
            The press and others have whipped up the virus thing out of all proportion - I am someone who throws every half decent app I find on my phone just to see what it does - I have had some that didn't work but none that have caused damage. As far as my PC is concerned the same - I keep a weekly system back up as a disc image and run anything that looks a little dodgy in a sandbox - a lot cheaper than shelling out for an imac with anything near the specs of my build it myself PC.
            I am not an apple hater and have had both an iphone and an ipad. though when my old mark one ipad's screen died the other week I replaced with an android, mainly because if I buy an app for my phone I can usually install it on the tablet as well at no extra cost and since I have an android phone it makes sense.
          • re: tempting people away

            I always wonder, why people imagine Apple is any interested to "temp other platform users away".

            If you think about it, that makes absolutely no sense. Apple sells physical devices. They sell about as much as the manufacturing can deliver at a price Apple decided they will sell on and neither the price, nor the demand change much with time.

            Do you suggest Apple should provide everyone with their devices, at prices that not Apple, but the distribution chain decides, etc? Why would Apple want that?

            If you had the ability to do what Apple does, would you want "all users" at any price? I don't think so.
          • I think letting the stores decide prices is a great idea.

            Lack of competitive pricing is not just a problem with Apple, but with the entire video game industry as well. In fact, I expect the PS4 and Xbox 720 both to cost more than the Wii U. I know, it's off subject, but it backs up the subject of my argument.
            Richard Estes
          • Re: why people imagine Apple is any interested to "temp other platform user

            Because it's the 1990s all over again. Apple was losing market share, but its supporters kept saying don't worry, because the company was so profitable.

            Unfortunately, that profitability ran out after a few years, as the competition overwhelmed it by sheer volume. Then the company started circling the plughole, until Steve Jobs came back to save it.

            That same pattern is playing out again now. The only difference is: where is Steve Jobs this time?
          • Blissfully Ignorant

            You are not well informed.
            You are just blissfully ignorant.
            Your post boils down to being an apologist and asking why you would need this or that and that you are happy to play within the restrictions.
            meanwhile, some of us load Gigabytes of ISO files on multiple SD cards and use our Android phones like a portable hard drive (I have at least 128gb of spare micro SD cards in my wallet). I use my phone daily to boot laptops to diagnose and install linux, windows and to diagnose laptops for repair.
            It's a convergence device that has replaced USB memsticks, optical drives, and hard drives for most of my daily use.
            That is never an option for iphone users and they can talk about how wonderful the icloud is with the 5gb free.
            The iphone simply can't do it.
        • Nonsence [sic], sample sizes, trends, and markets

          Nonsence [sic] indeed.
          1) You are asserting because YOU never had an issue, that it is not an issue. Hard to be more self-involved than that. So you are saying because you run 4.1, no more phones exist running GB or ICS or other versions. You are saying that because your phone has NFC that all Androids do. Etc.. Nonsense.
          2) Ditto on your comments about servicing PCs (NO apostrophe to form plurals, ever).
          3) Apple hardware boring? Maybe because everyone and their mother are STILL falling all over themselves to copy them.
          4) Stuck in a rut, or settled into a close to perfect form factor, and no functional reason to change.
          5) You calling things like "memory expansion/flash/phone screen size/upgrade-ability" trends is laughable. They have been around for a while. Some phones have them, others don't. No trend here. Memory expansion is something that very few people ever call for during the typical two year life of a phone, opting to buy the size of phone they need in the beginning. And with iCloud, much of the burden of memory is offloaded.
          Flash. I certainly hope you don't mean Adobe flash, as the trend most CERTAINLY is not toward flash. Certainly not at Google with Android, and not even at Adobe, who has killed it.
          There is no "trend" in screen size. Simply a few large phablets from a few manufacturers, only one of which is getting any traction.
          Ugrade-abilty? I an phone? How is that a trend?I dare say there are far more upgrade options using the 30-pin dock connector and lightning connector than USB add-ons that ail run on your Android phone.
          • Flash and the iPologists

            Adobe hasn't killed mobile flash.
            You can still download flashplayer in the playstore and Adobe actually updated it as recently as 3 months ago! Yeh that's right, they UPDATED mobile flashplayer despite the FACT the zealots say it has been killed off last year.
            I still come across sites daily that use flash for videos and content and a large proportion of video hosting sites are using flash.
            The inability to access ANY web content is inexcusable.
            The rest of your post is just apologist type excuses for Apple's lack of features.
            You don't need this, you don't need that.
            Fact is, I don't need an iphone.
          • Flash and idiots who don't know what they are talking about

            Of course Adobe still releases updates. They are legally required to do so, at least to fix known vulnerabilities that can cause major loss of data or worse. But they have ceased all NEW DEVELOPMENT.

            NEWSFLASH: Adobe has killed Flash.
          • Legally required?

            how is Adobe legally required to do updates?
            They don't even charge for Flash Player or promise it will be bulletproof
            Just because they are not supporting Flash for Mobile platforms doesn't mean they killed flash. Flash on desktop continues to be supported and updated.
            In the end, it doesn't even matter what Adobe does from here on. The format is already widely used. Embedded flash videos and animations/graphics is everywhere and every Apple user knows it when he gets the flash plugin required dialogue.
          • Yes

            The fact that something is free of charge does NOT free a seller form liability concerns. And while the format is "used" it is not true any longer that it is "widely used". And of those who are using it, all the big players are scrambling to replace it. Care to differ? Name a single large vendor that is not at least investigating Flash replacements.
      • Actually Android is a pretty good model

        Compare it to windows where every app you install has root privileges and can throw up all over the HD. iOS has plenty of holes to allow data to be stolen. It's just that users don't realize it.
      • I know numerous Android users; no viruses. Its meaningless.

        Im not particularly a fan of Android. I dont think I will be too likely to go Android when I update my hardware from my iPhone 3G which is sadly way out of date.

        But it really sickens me to see that the same old kind of crap continues to circulate on these posts. Android can keep its viruses and 10000 UI’s?? Please. Gross exaggeration dosnt make for a compelling position in any argument. Dosnt anyone around here get sick of sounding like a moron? I don’t think Android is what Im looking for in a smartphone, but on the other hand, I don’t hear any real complaints from the Android users I know. I think that means in the “real world” as opposed to the world of “I use something besides Android so I must slam Android” world, that generally speaking, android phones work just fine and those that own them are pretty happy for the most part.

        And in so far as Apple changing the iPhone UI, maybe some serious changes in the meat and potatoes of iOS? Well, we know the hard core Apple fans will applaud with great cheer anything that Apple shoves at them. That’s where I count myself lucky because when I purchased my old iPhone 3G, I knew without a doubt it was the best there was for my purposes; that’s the only reason I bought it. It was the best for me. Just like my good old 80 GB Classic iPod, again, the best for me for the price. I felt in no particular special warm and fuzzy bond with Apple or any particular distaste for any other manufacturer or make of OS or hardware. Just purchased what looked to have what I knew I would like best. And as far as Im concerned I picked absolutely right and may very well go iPhone again because they have a tendency to stick to a plan for the fairly long term, if they are getting it “right for you” in the real world they seldom suddenly get it wrong the next time round from what I can see.

        But, we know that it will not matter to a certain “many” Apple fans who could sit and watch Apple crank out something not so completely different than WP8, and even though I already know, those I am speaking of are part of the crowd that curses WP8 as some kind of abomination right now, if Apple even leans so much as a bit in that direction they will say it was a brilliant move and be more than ready to explain why they like the new direction. And of course pointing out to them the direction is one they were cursing just the day before will be all for naught. They will explain that away as well. This is why I have been saying for some time; there is no point in cursing the opposition. If you prefer what you are using, fine, say so, say why, explain what it is that you do like in what you use and explain calmly why you don’t like the ideas in the other products. If your product of choice makes some changes toward a product in the very way you said you didn’t think was good, either admit you were wrong before or admit the product you thought was good is now going in a bad direction in your opinion. But don’t be a curser/apologist. They are embarrassing creatures and they live here among us in large numbers.

        Curser/Apologists, for anyone who wonders what a prime example such a creature would be only has to look to writer SJVN for the perfect example. SJVN is a prime example because while on the one hand he declares Windows 8 to be a catastrophic failure based on particular statistics he interprets as showing sales of Windows 8 to be at a particular level over a particular period of time, and from his speculative viewpoint, without further meaningful analysis of those statistics, asserts that these figures on their own without further dissemination or context required to understand what they actually might represent, means that that kind of uptake of Windows 8 means it’s a terrible failure. That makes him a real genuine curser of Windows 8. On the other hand, Windows 8, already handily defeating the user base statistics of desktop Linux, in a relatively short period of time, particularly given the amount of time Linux has been around, its absurdly low cost ($00.00) and the massive variety available, SJVN rationally could only conclude using his logic and statistical analysis that not only is Linux a much great failure than Windows 8, its very likely the greatest failure of any and all products that have ever existed in any market in all of history, given the totality of the circumstances.

        But I suspect that SJVN will not agree to that, even though his analysis of the Windows 8 market would actually leave that as the only conclusion available to desktop Linux. This makes SJVN an apologist. So, he is the perfect example of a curser/apologist.

        Don’t be one. Its ugly.
        • I know numerous Android users; no viruses. Its meaningless

          GREAT article! I've written a few posts mentioning many of the points you make, but I've NEVER read any comment, here or elsewhere, that makes so much sense and points it out the way you did. Two of my sons have had Windows 7 HTC Trophies. They loved them. They both recently upgraded to Windows 8 phones (Lumia 822 & HTC 8X), and shortly thereafter when I decided to go Smartphone, we added 2 more Lumia 822s. Why? Because WE have no problem with, and actually like Windows 8. At home we have 2 desktops and 2 laptops running Windows 8 Pro. Start button? If you need one, get Start 8 (Stardock). If you prefer the desktop to the Modern UI, set Start 8 to boot to the desktop. You can also keep the Charms bar from appearing while using desktop. Liked Windows 7, but Windows 8 does boot much, much faster than 7 did. If someone prefers MAC, iPhone, Android, Linux, good for them. I don't care, it's not my business, and I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Anyway, YOU wrote an EXCELLENT article, and I give you two thumbs up and a pat on the back. Thank you!
      • Re: No thanks, Android can keep its viruses

        Name a single Android virus.