iPhone Upgrade Cycle Now Estimated at Four Years, Up From Three Years in 2018 [Report]

iPhone Upgrade Cycle Now Estimated at Four Years, Up From Three Years in 2018 [Report]

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The average iPhone customer is now holding on to their device for four years before updating, up from three years in 2018, according to Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

In an investor note obtained by CNBC, Sacconaghi says that people are waiting longer than ever to upgrade which could spell trouble for Apple.

"Replacement cycles are elongating ... a lot," Sacconaghi said, noting that people are using their iPhones longer because of Apple's battery replacement program, changes in carrier subsidies and higher prices, among other reasons.

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed this himself on a recent earnings call. "Our customers are holding on to their older iPhones a bit longer than in the past," said Cook.

It's estimated that 16% of Apple's installed base will buy a new iPhone in 2019 and Sacconaghi doesn't believe that the company's fiscal 2020 offering will stimulate an acceleration in iPhone replacement cycles.

The analyst predicts that despite the iPhone's install base growing 9% last year, units will be down 19% in fiscal 2019. However, Sacconaghi cautions that there is a "myriad of unknowns" and notes that "modeling iPhone's installed base is as much art as science".

While Apple stopped revealing unit sales for iPhone, it reported an install base of 900 million iPhone devices in use right now.

More details in the full report linked below...

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iPhone Upgrade Cycle Now Estimated at Four Years, Up From Three Years in 2018 [Report]

firefish - February 12, 2019 at 3:07am
Apple has gotten extremely greedy with holding back and milking non worthy features year to year. There’s only so much the fanatics can take, or afford for that matter. We’re now at nearly $1.5k for a fully loaded new top of the line phone year after year with really not that much evolution
Mang Domeng - February 12, 2019 at 11:31am
If you are greedy to have the latest iPhone every year, you are fooling yourself and not Apple! If you are contented of what you have for the moment and haven’t maximized the use of your device to its full potential yet, you’ll save yourself money to get the next new iPhone after 5 years. Apple is not fooling everyone, it is you who are fooling yourself. Fool!
Norup58 - February 11, 2019 at 8:23am
You can believe what you want - I guess ignorance is a bliss. I have a collegue who uses a iPhone 4 (iOS 7). He can call, txt, surf the net, take pictures etc which fulfills all his needs from a phone and according to him, does not miss all the new features available. But he cannot upgrade his apps because Apple does not support OS lower than the newest (iOS 12) which also goes for app-makers so he had to uninstall some apps because they force closed when he cannot upgrade the apps. He doesnt even get the option to ignore the upgrade and has basically stopped using Apple Store. This is not the case with Android. Android user can always upgrade their apps or choose not to and the app will still run. Even today apps on Google play are made/ launched with KitKat as starting OS. The Android OS is the backbone OS but each phone-maker puts their own touch to the OS i.e. you cannot use a Sony OS on a Samsung, HTC or any other Android phone and vice versa. Therefore it is up to each phone-maker to upgrade the OS and some are more diligent then others. But stating 3 years lifespan is nonsense. An Android phone does not need to be upgraded OS-wise to run (the newest) apps.
ichild - February 9, 2019 at 1:15pm
It's just business people nothing personal. Only way to bring down the prices is to stop buying into the nonsense. Withythe people these businesses would be nothing and will be very careful when they try to screw the people but today we don't have a population of people that knows about anything. Just buy and take anything that is being thrown at them. If you think these prices are bad now. Just wait. You all will be forced to buy new phones pretty soon.
Mang Domeng - February 9, 2019 at 12:19pm
With continuous iOS updates an iPhone can last for 5 years. In other countries there are still people who use the iPhone 5s which is released last 2013 which is more than 5 years old now. You can only stop if the iOS is unsupported any more and with that some apps will not be updating too when that happens. That is the right time to upgrade. A $1000 iOS device well spent. With all the huge hardware specs an Android phone has only 3years lifespan and it will not be supported for upgrade after that, forcing you to upgrade to a new phone. Bad news for Samsung and other Android phone owners that uses custom Android OS, shedding $1000 for a phone that has a slow and short OS update despite of good hardware specs is not a good idea to place your hard earned money. Such a waste of throwing a good hardware because of a short Android OS lifespan.
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