Will iPhone 5 chatter hurt Apple's sales?

Will consumers hold off on purchasing a new iPhone because they think the iPhone 5 is coming out?

Love 'em or hate 'em, iPhone gossip is the chief sustenance of tech bloggers and journalists, many of whom scrutinize the credibility of every rumor, no matter how preposterous. The reason? Page views, of course. You see, readers love iPhone rumors--perhaps even more than they love griping about them.

In short, iPhone rumors are very, very good for the bottom lines of mainstream and tech news sites. They may not be so good for Apple itself, however. In the quarter leading up to last year's launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple's iPhone sales fell 16 percent from the previous (third) quarter.

On the bright side, fourth quarter iPhone sales were up 21 percent from same quarter a year earlier, so the overall trend was positive.

What caused the short-term drop? Apple execs blamed the endless drumbeat of iPhone rumors in the months leading up to the iPhone 4S's launch in October 2011. The company speculated that customers held off on buying an iPhone until the latest model arrived.

This Year's Model

Could history repeat itself this year? Quite likely. The scenario is familiar: Months of heated speculation; rampant rumors about features and specs; insider leaks; grainy photos purportedly of next-gen prototypes; and an expected fall launch date.

If iPhone sales drop before the new model arrives, well, we'll know why. But if history repeats itself, any iPhone sales slump will be short-lived. In the first quarter of 2012, the new iPhone 4S was the main reason why Apple's phone sales reached an all-time record of 37.04 million units.

One thing's for certain: This year's iPhone scuttlebutt can't touch the drama of two years ago, when former Gizmodo editor Jason Chen bought an iPhone 4 prototype in March 2010 and revealed it online, thereby spoiling Apple's launch-day surprise.

There's still time left, though! The blogosphere can only hope...

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?