iPhone 7 Plus
Tim Cook believes the reports about future iPhones caused consumers to reconsider purchasing the current models. Reuters/Issei Kato

Tim Cook is putting the blame on the “pause” in purchases of its current iPhone models to reports outing the possible features of the next-generation iPhones. During Apple’s second quarter earnings call, the CEO claimed that the hiccups in the sales of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could be attributed to the media coverage on the company’s future smartphones.

When Cook was asked about a 451 research survey on the nine year low in iPhone purchase intent this Tuesday, the CEO admitted that he did not get the chance to read the survey in-depth. However, he reacted to this by pointing out what he thinks is causing consumers to reconsider purchasing the available iPhones. For Cook, this is due to the media coverage that’s attempting to shed light on the specs and features of the upcoming iPhones.

“i only glanced at it and so I haven’t had time to study it, but in general, what we are seeing … we’re seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases on iPhone, which we believe are due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones,” Cook was quoted as saying by MacRumors. “And so that part is clearly going on, and it could be what’s behind the data. I don’t know, but we are seeing that, in full transparency.”

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It is understandable why Cook did not credit the pause to the stiff competition in the smartphone scene these days and simply attributed it to reports about next-generation iPhones. For one thing: even before the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were released, online tech sites were already spreading word about the iPhone 8 and the possible other models the company could be introducing this 2017. Also, despite Apple’s efforts to keep details about its 2017 iPhone concealed prior its launch, some information just slipped through the cracks and fueled the hype over what’s to come this year.

Based on the numerous reports about the iPhone 8, the device could come with an edge-to-edge OLED display that will not make room for a physical Home button. There’s word that the handset will have a glass body and a stainless steel frame to hold together the front and back glass panels. More recent reports are torn between having the Touch ID reader on the back of the phone and having it embedded into the display. On the other hand, leaked schematics show that the iOS-running phone could sport a vertically aligned dual-lens camera that will be useful in AR games.

Meanwhile, AppleInsider believes that product rumors and leaks have been a factor in consumers’ purchasing habits. The tech news site pointed out that people who are planning to get new phones in July are likely to hold it off if an updated model is slated for launch in September. The site then added that a modest update could also cause consumers to wait longer for a significant upgrade or just purchase a phone from a different maker. In hindsight, the flat sales of the current iPhones could be due to the fact that many did not consider the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as “evolutionary” upgrades from their predecessors.