Slice Intelligence is a company led by a team of measurement industry executives. They obtain raw data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices. Apple's iPhone 7 pre-orders are a classic example of where their data reveals some interesting early trends that are developing. Late yesterday data from Slice Intelligence revealed the first online sales figures for the iPhone 7, and early shoppers prefer Apple's Plus model this time around. Among those pre-ordering the iPhone 7, in the first 48 hours of availability, 55 percent ordered the Plus model. By comparison, over half of the iPhone orders of the 6 and 6s were for the regular model during the first two days of availability.
The Favored iPhone Finish: Black
In addition, the data also showed that Apple fans have once again chosen the mid-tier level for storage and this time that translates to the 128GB model. In total, 67% of buyers chose this model. And lastly, the data has shown that 56% of iPhone buyers are loyalists who have purchased an iPhone in the last two years. For more, see the new Slice report.
The iPhone Plus Model Trend
Originally, Apple's iPhone Plus model offered one added feature, a larger display putting it into the phablet category. Now Apple has upped the ante this year by providing the iPhone Plus with a second advantage or unique feature, the dual lens camera.
Pushing more customers into the Plus model directly translates into higher margins for Apple which bodes well for their fiscal Q4 and Q1 results if this trend continues beyond the first 48 hours.
If this trend continues, even at a slightly lower rate, it's very possible that Apple will continue to build on this trend of adding higher end value into their Plus model. What could be next for the 2017 or 2018 Plus model? Simply put: Apple Pencil. It's an option Apple has hinted at in patents and Apple's CEO has mentioned it as if it were already an option in the works. It's a feature I believe will make its way into a future iPhone Plus model exclusively. The only complication foreseen at this juncture is Apple's shift to an OLED display.
The Classic iFixit Teardown: The iPhone 7 Plus
The excitement surrounding Apple's iPhone Plus model with its exclusive dual lens camera feature has propelled it to being the leading iPhone model amongst early adopters and has caught the eye of iFixit who has just published their classic teardown.
The ifixit teardown reveals the first 1920 x 1080 IPS Retina HD display that's only found on the Plus model which could also be considered its third exclusive feature.
The teardown also reviewed the new home button haptics, the 2,900mAh battery and most importantly the new camera in step 11 as noted below.
In iFixit's step 11 they say that "Apple's got us seeing double as we pull out the camera array with two separate sensors, two lenses, and two little connectors. The two 12 MP cameras—one wide-angle with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), just like in the iPhone 7, the second a telephoto—allow for optical zoom. Both cameras also sport a new image sensor that Apple claims is 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient than previous iPhones. The upgraded cameras almost make it worth the bigger exterior camera bump—now built into the chassis in another suspected waterproofing/dust-fighting tactic.
On a last note about the dual cameras they stated that "We use our X-ray vision to initiate a staring contest with the camera array. Without blinking, we can see four metal pads around one camera" as noted in the left side graphic noted above. iFixit guesses that "these are the magnets that enable OIS." For more details go to iFixit.
One More Thing on the iPhone 7 Plus Camera
A new report by Fast Company called the new iPhone 7 Plus dual-lens camera possibly the most significant upgrade to an iPhone camera ever. They noted later in their article that "on balance iPhone 7 camera is the biggest improvement in recent generations." Fast Company tapped into photographer Brooks Kraft's experience to test out the new iPhone camera. Kraft covered the White House for Time from 2001-2011 spanning both Bush and Obama administrations. You could read Kraft's review of the new iPhone 7 Plus camera here. Patently Apple covered Brooks Kraft review of the iPhone 6 back in 2014 where he presented a number of great photos.