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Each new iPhone release comes with a great deal of online discussion about new features and functionality. Praise for innovation often blends with criticism of perceived issues with each new iPhone’s hardware and software.
Surprisingly, iPhone release conversation reached it’s peak in 2012 with the release of the iPhone 5, with the twice the conversation volume of 2016’s iPhone 7 release.
Our analysis shows that people are more inclined to discuss the full releases of the iPhone than the in-between “s” releases (i.e. iPhone 4s, 5s, and 6s vs iPhone 4, 5, 6, and 7). This stems from a perception that the “s” releases don’t offer a new design or many new features.
The two most talked about releases since 2010 were the iPhone 5 and 6, which both introduced totally new designs. While the iPhone 7 wasn’t an “s” release, the phone’s shape remains largely the same as the iPhone 6 and 6s, which may have contributed to the lower conversation volume that failed to reach the levels of even the iPhone 5s release.
The most loved iPhone features
The 2012 release of the “do not disturb” feature, which was introduced with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, was the most popular new feature release by a large margin. Positive conversation about Do Not Disturb is more than double that of the second most popular feature, Apple’s voice assistant Siri.
iPhone-gate: the least popular parts of iPhone releases
While Apple has remained the top smartphone manufacturer for years, iPhone releases haven’t been without backlash. Issues like bending phones (iPhone 6 Plus), poor battery life (iPhone 4s), and a broken Maps app (iPhone 5) all make the list for the most negative conversation surrounding iPhone releases. The development that got people most upset about an iPhone release was the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7.
The fact that the negative outweighed the positive in Apple’s latest release combined with the declining overall conversation volume (when compared to the last two non- ”s” releases) indicates that Apple really needs to hit it out of the park with their next iPhone release to stay on top of an increasingly competitive smartphone market.