Originally Posted by cloudgazer
The problem is that the data is against you. Not only did Apple have their highest ever sales figures for iPhone last quarter, the YoY increase was up too, above levels seen in the previous recent quarters. The iPhone-4 may be old but it still holds up incredibly well compared to upper end Android phones.
The iPhone market seems to be permanently constrained by supply, as fast as markets such as the US move into a supply/demand balance Apple is adding new carriers and new markets.
I'm not saying that this will always be true, or that Apple can switch to 18month product cycles, or anything crazy like that - but the fact is that Apple hasn't paid any kind of price so far for the extended iP-4 lifespan.
High sales figures and high rates of growth do not necessarily indicate lost sales. Some amount of users who previously had iPhones may have switched to a different device primarily because of the age of the handset; the data presented here also doesn't address that issue.
However, Apple is losing out on future sales dollars. From Appleinsider: "In particular, his sampling found that many Verizon customers are waiting for the iPhone 5, as the iPhone 4 only went on sale to Verizon customers in February, a full 8 months after the handset was first sold to AT&T customers."
Since customers now must be under contract for two years before becoming eligible for a discount (which is to say, the Apple advertised price of an iPhone), users who delayed buying an iphone in February because they anticipated a new model in June, won't be replacing their iphones in February of 2013 but will likely be waiting until at least the release date+2years. That's lost revenue; that's 8 months of interest lost on that revenue. That's 8 months of app sales lost.