In my opinion something has also to be mentioned. The purchase of a smartphone is also about fashion and distinction from the "crowd" and sense of "clan". Almost every product goes from "early adopters" to "mass market" to "decline". This is not just market jargon, it has very much to do with the way our primeval mind works. Early adopters buy it because it is "cool" (case in point: GPRS iPhone 1 when 3G was already common, Google Glass nowadays, iPad before, etc etc). Then everyone wants to take part of that cool clan of early adopters and the product sees an explosion in sales (the main reason why luxury fashion brands sell perfume is exactly so that everyone can afford a piece of it...). Then, after the mass adoption, everywhere you look there's the same product in everybody's hands... So the early adopters, out of their "I don't want to be part of the mass" spirit, start to look for something new, like they are for Samsung. It makes them proud to ditch the phone everyone has, even if it is a perfectly capable phone and has a lot of features still unmatched. The specialized press, to show their "following or setting the trends" immediately jump on the bandwagon and look the mainstream product as if it was something "given", "part of the landscape". Because they have to be cool, because they have to be part of the nice of insiders...
And so it goes, the next big thing is created by a handful of people, becomes mainstream and then people start looking for the next thing. It is the way fashion goes, with their coming and going and coming back of brands, and has very much to do with group psychology. These factors are always absent in critics, fanboys, defenders and accusers, as we would live in a perfectly rational world.
People buying Android underline its cheapness, praise its customability, hackability... Consider themselves "insiders". Frown when someone takes out an iPhone... People with iPhone are so "uncool". Why? Because everyone has it. It has nothing to do with the quality of the phone... The same went for people buying iPhones "en masse" just because it made them look cool and hip. I know my point of view does not apply to everyone, probably almost no one on either side of the "fence" that reads this blog because we are more opinionated and maybe, just maybe, more rational. But look around you and tell me, honestly, I am wrong. You know I am not. I have seen people buy iPhone and use it as a "dumb phone" and people buy a Samsung galaxy 3 because it is hip and going back to the shop the next day because they had no clue about how to actually use it.
Emotions, the fashion cycle, is very much part of the coming and going of brands in the smartphone industry as it is everywhere else (cars, watches etc). Apple had the insight of the "halo effect" where every product is also intended to shine a cool light on the others. So the iPhone became a big seller when the iPad came out... Apple was on everyone's mind as the coolest company in the world. That's why the industry has to keep on inventing, that's why Apple NEEDS new category defining products. Because, let's face it, the iPhone is just the iPhone. Without iOS 7 the sales numbers of the iPhone 5S would have plummeted. Apple needed to stir up the press, polarize opposites, create a new "cool group" who likes iOS 7, praises it, and others who bash it. Because rumor creates curiosity, interest, and ultimately the cool factor that drives sales. The MacPro is a prime example. The whole press i going to divide itself about who likes it and who doesn't... Ultimately it will bring sales big time. Create the "diehard fans" that were the driving force of Apple. The small group of passionate followers that felt they were part of a small elite. Which now has become a crowded garden. That is also why Apple is in a unique position to stay on top of this "fashion or image game". Because they have several groups to which they speak to. And, I think, part of the choice to continue catering (I bet you'll see more of that in the future) the Pro crowd is due to the fact it creates halo.
Do not underestimate the power of the masses, and the driving forces that move them.