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Don’t Forget about the new iPhone 8 and X!


The original iPhone sparked a technological revolution that continues to this day. Ever since Steve Jobs announced the first phone, Apple has been dominating the smartphone market. Through innovation and expert marketing, Apple had created an almost cult following of the iPhone, with people camping outside stores for days trying to get their hands on the latest model. However, recently the hype surrounding iPhone releases has diminished substantially. In a poll by Morning Consult, Edward Graham talks about the changing consumer mindset towards iPhones. Specifically, in this poll, 17% of participants said they were likely to buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone X. For comparison, in a similar poll in 2016, 21% of participants said they were likely to buy the iPhone 7.

I chose this article because I can see strong resemblances between what is occurring with the newest iPhone and Population Models. Users have pre-existing technologies and expectations. Based off of recent history, many users that Apple is targeting are already users of earlier iPhone models. Similarly, as I discussed previously, older iPhone releases were epicenters of consumer hype and discussion. This reminded me of Network Dynamics and Population Models because a lot of the previous hype around iPhones revolved around spreading excitement from one consumer to another in a system of social networks. Now that the hype surrounding the iPhone is slowing down, I thought it’d be worthwhile to discuss why this is happening.

First of all, in lecture we discussed many examples where a new technology was spreading through a network, and that is one key difference between those in-class examples and the case of the iPhone. The iPhone 8 and X themselves are not a brand new technology. They are simply iterations and improvements of an existing technology. This can make a big difference in gaining popularity through Network Dynamics because there is less innovation and originality involved. On a similar note, recent iPhone releases have been becoming progressively more disappointing, and the iPhone 8 and X release is no exception. This is because Apple seems to be slowing down on innovative features it is adding. Recently, it feels like Apple is mainly changing the size of the phone and increasing processing speed, which are not very exciting changes for generating consumer hype. Finally, Graham points out that diminished enthusiasm does not necessarily imply a drop in sales. Smartphones are now an integral tool for most consumers, so it is only natural that consumers are less hyped about something they already have and heavily rely on.

Overall, the noticeable decrease in iPhone release hype draws on concepts regarding Network Dynamics and Population Models.



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