"Those customers upgrading every 3-4 years, which is the norm, would see between 80-91% performance increases during their refresh cycles."
From "iPhone 13 and Apple Silicon" mailed Thursday to Think.Tank ($) subscribers.
While it isn’t always obvious, Apple’s integrated product design approach of hardware, software, and silicon has led to many of the advances in camera, battery life, AI, video capture performance, and even ProMotion on iPhone 13 Pro. Apple has a luxury other silicon companies don’t. They custom-tune their architecture and silicon design specifically for iPhone and the feature they want iPhone to have. This allows them to spend their transistor budget on features instead of just pure performance. (emphasis his)
While thinking about your phone’s performance, speed, etc., it is relevant people often get caught up in year-over-year performance since that is the way most in the silicon industry have been trained to think. As I mentioned, this is a relevant benchmark for a variety of reasons, but from the perspective of a normal consumer, looking at their experience upgrading every 3-4 years is a much more relevant analysis.
While I will admit there is a small percentage of Apple customers who upgrade every year and a percentage more who upgrade every two years because they are on upgrade plans, the vast majority of consumers upgrade every 3-4 years. I thought it would be interesting to look at some basic iPhone benchmarks through the years and look at how much performance improvement happens every four years.
Going back to iPhone 5s, Apple has averaged 133% performance increases every four years. Most interesting, for this iPhone 13 cycle, are those Apple customers coming from an iPhone X or Xs are going to see a 91% performance increase. Our continued research in the smartphone category consistently reveals that most customers upgrade when they feel their current device is old and slow. Those customers upgrading every 3-4 years, which is the norm, would see between 80-91% performance increases during their refresh cycles.
My take: If Bajarin is right, any iPhone supercycle we might see in 2021-2022 will be driven not by a burning desire for 5G, but by those sluggish phones from 2017-2018.