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Will the iPhone 5 struggle due to Apple’s upgrade cycle?

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to hit our shelves at some point in the autumn, the hype is slowly starting to build.

Of course, the hype surrounding Apple and its products never really goes away. We don’t know whether it’s down to great publicity or simply great products (probably a bit of both), but Apple is rarely out of the tech world headlines.

But with the iPhone 5, the Californian tech giant has set itself a rather big challenge. When it was first released, the iPhone 4S sold a whopping three million units in a matter of days. It then went on to sell millions more around the world.

And it achieved this despite being more of an upgrade to the iPhone 4, rather than a fully-fledged model of its own. So surely when the iPhone 5 comes along, with all its changes and new features, it’ll blow the 4S out of the water?

iPhone 5 set to struggle

Not according to some industry analysts, who claim that carriers’ current upgrade cycles could severely damage the next iPhone’s sales.

This is because millions of customers, especially in the US on the AT&T network, who are on a contract with an iPhone 4S will not be eligible for upgrades when the iPhone 5 is released – meaning many will wait until they are due an upgrade to get the new phone.

“For over a year, AT&T has enabled its customers that are 6 months into their contract to pay $250 to obtain an early upgrade,”

said BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.

“AT&T’s [chief executive] de la Vega indicated that this offer has generated very little interest from their customers, who typically end up waiting ’till the day they are eligible’ before upgrading with the full subsidy.”

Too expensive to upgrade?

While there are of course some Apple fans out there who will pay full whack for the next iPhone, companies don’t seem to be holding out much hope.

“Furthermore, he [de la Vega] does not expect customer interest in this early upgrade offer to increase notably with the expected launch of a new iPhone later this year, when we estimate that the vast majority of AT&T iPhone customers will not qualify for an upgrade,”

added Mr Piecyk.

What do you think will happen with Apple’s latest iPhone? Tell us below!