I second this prediction and would bet money on this exact response.
And approximately 93.748% of the entire traveling public won't give a shit anyhow.
I don’t think I personally know anyone who would know the difference between the current and suspected new livery. It kind of confuses me why UA is even going to spend such a large amount of money repainting over 1000 planes to produce a result that hardly anyone will recognize.
1. I think you're wrong about how many people will notice. Will they pay attention to the details? No, of course not - but they absolutely notice the elements of the brand, of which the livery is the most visible.
2. I wouldn't assume they're going to spend a large amount of money at all. Planes need to be repainted on a regular basis anyway (every 5-7 years, IIRC); UA will be taking new deliveries, etc. The idea that this is an excessive cost (particularly when it's an evolution of the existing branding - they're not changing the logo, or re-naming the airline, etc). is without evidence.