iPhone replacement cycles slowing down to four years, pose threat to services, analyst say...

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  • Reply 121 of 166
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,191member
    avon b7 said:
    The compelling feature of 2018 on the camera side was the tri-camera and night mode with AIIS, allowing you to take handheld low light ultra high ISO shots at up to 8 seconds with outstanding results. The same technology also improved non-night mode photography. That was at the start of the year and also included x3 optical zoom allowing you to get great quality shots and x5 hybrid zoom with virtually no loss in detail. Later in the year ultra wide angle and super macro became available.
    I suppose in terms of cameras, but isn't the iPhone typically ranked 1st or 2nd in terms of cameras? Are we just talking features, or quality? Are these odd-ball phone models with special cameras, or the major popular models?

    The big one on that list, IMO, is zoom I suppose. That's the major shortcoming of phone cameras... well besides low-light. But, I'm skeptical that can really be solved by anything but bigger glass.

    avon b7 said:
    On the battery side Apple has never had anything compelling and is hampered by including a 5W charger in the box. Technologies like Supercharge and Supercharge 2 blast past the iPhone. At the end of last year we saw 40W chargers that charge so fast that you can watch the decimals move in real-time.
    Fast charging is hard on batteries, though. So, that's kind of a questionable feature. I guess if you're really in a hurry, it might be good at some times. Doesn't iPhone have fast charging too?

    avon b7 said:
    15W wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging. Live 3D object modelling. In screen fingerprint readers. Offline translations. Modems that are so fast that even Apple's latest 2019 are still behind, fastest wi-fi, dual frequency GPS etc - all on the same phone makes for a compelling device and cheaper than Apple's best offering.
    Most of that stuff isn't that compelling for me, but I guess it is for some. I think Face ID, unfortunately, was the Apple response to in-screen fingerprint reading (so, even if it gets working well, I suppose Apple won't go there). re: modems... do you mean 5G? The networks won't be around for years to even use it. Better GPS would be nice I guess. But, I also wonder how much of this stuff is spec-sheet filler, vs actual quality features that are useful.

    avon b7 said:
    Having the most profit is largely irrelevant for consumers unless it is put to profitable use. Apple had a cash hoard but did little with it. Others have made less profit but achieved more all the same. That is one of the reasons why competitors have been able to leapfrog Apple on iPhone.
    True, but companies also can't sell stuff at a loss, or super-close to a loss, without some kind of endgame.

    avon b7 said:
    Not everyone can have the 'most profits and Apple is ahead, thanks in part to increasing prices. It could be argued that charging more has brought in profits but at the cost of stalling or contracting sales. I think most people now believe that there is no more room for that particular strategy so I expect prices won't increase this year.

    Depending on competition and actual sales going forward, we might even see a drop in iPhone prices.
    Yeah, I guess I agree here. This will be especially true if the economy starts collapsing. Of course, I think many of the Android makers will *really* be in trouble then.

    avon b7 said:
    I'm not really into services myself but there is clearly money to be made. The problem I see is that video services limited to Apple platforms would mean not pushing the product to 80% of the market, but opening up that revenue stream to Android users wouldn't be doing the Apple hardware platforms any favours. Add to that that the streaming market is already crowded and consolidation normally follows when too many big fish are present in the same pool and we have yet to see if any of Apple's content has viewer appeal.

    I agree they should give it a shot but I wouldn't go out on a limb and say it was going to be a major revenue earner in the short term although when the service actually goes live, we'll be able to judge the quality of the productions and see if they have any potential big earners on their books.

    I also think gaming should finally get some love from Apple as well as the Mac of course which is not competitive IMO. 
    Yeah, I see the services... especially stuff like the TV shows and things, as a sign of Apple being a bit lost. They are now trying to increase revenue with a bunch of Apple-centric 'me too' type stuff. I suppose if they spend enough and hire the right people, they could produce a hit or two. I just don't see how that matters much in the big picture.

    And, that will especially be the case if we have an economic downturn. The first thing people will cut are a lot of these silly services that were initially cost-savers, but have no become competitors, collectively costing much more than the alternatives people flocked to them from.

    The gaming, yeah, I wish Apple would engage that. But, I think they are clueless. They could already be a major player if they'd prioritized getting there over trying to rake in some MFi cash.
  • Reply 122 of 166
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,057moderator
    jungmark said:
    I've been a 3 yr upgrade: 4S to 6 to 8. Sales New iPhones might be slowing but 2nd hand iPhones are still selling. 
    You are my doppelgänger.  Lol.  My first iPhone was the 4S, then the 6, now the 8+.  I’ll wait until there’s a significant camera update, like optical 3 or 4x telephoto, to upgrade.  Or something of similar significance to my use.  But as others here have mentioned, a longer replacement cycle is not necessarily a bad thing.  Apple gains, and retains, loyal customers who are out of the market (for Androids) for an extended period, customers get a lower total cost of ownership, implying lower monthly ownership costs, and the environment is spared the hit of new phone manufacturing energy and resource usage as well as landfill volume (for those that don’t make it into the recycling cycle). Greater customer satisfaction might also lead to greater services adoption, and customers being predisposed to adopting other Apple products.  

    Apple seems driven by doing what’s best, and letting the chips fall where they may.  That may lead to a softening of sales of one product, but to a strengthening of ties between customers and the company as a whole.  As an investor, I’m willing to take that ride.  Money is not the end all..
    edited February 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 123 of 166
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,057moderator
    longpath said:
    As the person in my family with an IT and Graphics Engineering background, the reality is that my wife and elder daughter are going to expect me to wall them through every idiosyncrasy of transitioning from Touch ID iPhones to Face ID iPhones, and this necessitates purchasing three iPhones at the same time, so you’re bloody well right that our purchase interval is going to be longer! At three phones a pop, even at a four year interval, that averages out to a year and four months per phone. Forgive me if I don’t care to buy three phones every other year!
    Huh?  You say “a year and four months per phone”, but then say “buy three phones every other year.”  It’s not three phones every other year, it’s three phone every four years, which averages out, if you care to think of the math that way, to the cost of one phone every 16 months.  But at the cost of one phone every 16 months your family is getting the continued use of three phones.  So maybe better to just break it down to about $25/month per phone, with some of that returned to you when you eventually sell or trade each phone at the end of your four-year period of use. 
    edited February 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 124 of 166
    As others have noted, for myself and others I know, the extension of upgrade cycles boils down to:
    1. Cost of the phones increasing (especially families of iPhone users, this gets to be absurd expense). 
    2: Cost of iPhones increasing makes little sense to most people with diminishing returns (upgraded specs, with increased cost, when older models work fine, is not perceived as value for the money over older models)

    In addition to above, I feel the form factor of the X iPhones is less desireable than the 7’s. My 7 still works well and is built to allow for an occasional drop. I wouldn’t feel safe dropping an X.


    cgWerks
  • Reply 125 of 166
    Very good, the number of trashed phones is a measurement of enviromental damage (even when recycled, think of energy used, transportation etc).
    Apple should act responsible and make sure iPhones can be upgraded easily, battery, CPU, cellular etc. A A’sock sounds nice.


    edited February 10
  • Reply 126 of 166
    kitatit said:
    [...] My iPhone 6 is looking like a 5year upgrade cycle. 
    So was mine, until it died.

    The unexpected update confirmed what I've always known: making current operating systems available to old hardware has mixed consequences.

    Obviously adding new features to old phones appears to increase the useful lifespan of an iPhone, but it only kinda does. An OS written three or four years after the hardware was built imposes demands the hardware wasn't designed to handle. Consider Apple's product announcements for each new iPhone -- "50% faster graphics! Double the horsepower!" Add up those increases over three years and you wind up with a really broad range of processing power between new models and the older ones still in the wild.

    Developers, including Apple itself, obviously write software designed to take advantage of the increased power offered by newer devices. That software may run on older phones, but it doesn't run well. I didn't realize how badly my aging hardware was affecting my experience with Siri until I got the new phone. I also discovered that where the old phone exhibited considerable lag between pressing a control and the phone actually doing something, making me wonder if the input had registered, the new one responds immediately.

    Newer phones may not offer a lot of compelling "feature list" reasons to upgrade, but they do actually improve the experience of using the features that already exist.
    radarthekatmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 127 of 166
    fastasleep said:
    [...] Buying phones outright on this type of plan is a far better deal than the trade-in/upgrade programs or the opaque "subsidized" plans of years past.
    You're right. With the sudden death of my iPhone 6+ I was again in the position of finding the most cost-effective way of acquiring a new iPhone. The least expensive option was to walk into an Apple Store and buy one. The increase in the cost of my plan to get one "subsidized" by my carrier would have added up to more dollars spent over two years.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 128 of 166
    DAalseth said:

    DAalseth said:
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.
    The thing is, for me at least, there's no compelling reason to upgrade. Yes the screen is nicer, but it has reached the point of diminishing return. Yes the cameras are better, but my almost three year old SE still takes great shots. My SE still runs the latest iOS and gets all the features. I look at the iPhone XS and it is lovely, but I keep asking myself what it would give me that my SE doesn't. So far the hole in my bank account doesn't outweigh the improvements. Until the SE stops working, or at least won't do something I want it to do, I have no compelling reason to upgrade.
    The SE's camera is pretty mediocre compared to what comes in the latest iPhones. OSS is amazing for video on my X. Screen real estate is certainly a big plus for me as well, I can't image having to read stuff on a 5" screen anymore.
    Seems to work very well for me.

    No one is saying that camera is bad, just that the new ones are even better. With the new one I can take that photo at dusk and not suffer as much of the graininess and noise the older camera produces. The higher resolution also allows me to crop further before things start getting pixelly at normal viewing size.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 129 of 166
    avon b7 said:
    cgWerks said:
    Another thing about the days of the so-called subsidy: when the carriers were doing it the monthly amount you were being charged for the phone didn’t end when the phone was paid off. That’s one reason people upgraded every 2 years. Now once the phone is paid off the monthly charges go away and your bill goes down. So if the phone still works well for you you’re more likely to keep it then upgrade. Especially with smartphones being mature products and changes mostly incremental.
    Except it probably goes down to what it used to cost back when the phone was included. Kind of like Internet access now costing more than the whole thing used to cost before 'cord cutting'.

    avon b7 said:
    2. Lacking compelling features? No. There are Android phones that do NOT lack compelling features to entice upgraders. Yes, and that is in a mature market. Features that will arrive on iPhones a full year (or two!) late.
    This comment has me scratching my head. While I don't follow phones all that closely, I can't think of a feature I've heard anyone talking about that should make an iPhone user envious. You're not talking about something silly like foldable phones, are you? :)

    avon b7 said:
    4. One manufacturer has achieved MASSIVE growth and with virtually NO access to the second or third largest developed (and mature!) market on the planet, so please don't ramble on about that too much. Mature or not, 80% of that market is up for grabs to Apple.
    Growth in unit numbers, or growth in actual profit? I don't think Apple is that interested, no matter the %, if there isn't a profit to be made. That said, I do think they could do more of both if they didn't increase the price quite so high to try and appease the silly stock market.
    The compelling feature of 2018 on the camera side was the tri-camera and night mode with AIIS, allowing you to take handheld low light ultra high ISO shots at up to 8 seconds with outstanding results. The same technology also improved non-night mode photography. That was at the start of the year and also included x3 optical zoom allowing you to get great quality shots and x5 hybrid zoom with virtually no loss in detail. Later in the year ultra wide angle and super macro became available.

    On the battery side Apple has never had anything compelling and is hampered by including a 5W charger in the box. Technologies like Supercharge and Supercharge 2 blast past the iPhone. At the end of last year we saw 40W chargers that charge so fast that you can watch the decimals move in real-time.

    15W wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging. Live 3D object modelling. In screen fingerprint readers. Offline translations. Modems that are so fast that even Apple's latest 2019 are still behind, fastest wi-fi, dual frequency GPS etc - all on the same phone makes for a compelling device and cheaper than Apple's best offering.

    Some of these features are rumoured for 2019 iPhones. Some for the 2020 iPhones.

    All of the features I just mentioned were for 2018 phones. MWC in two weeks will see yet more advances and have them ship in a matter of weeks. That will extend the gap between those manufacturers and Apple still further. We can expect quad camera setups, possible liquid lens tech and more in the way of rear facing 3D systems. Of course higher storage capacities than on iPhones are a given.

    Growth in unit numbers for some Android makers. Idem revenues and profits. Not everyone, as the market is consolidating but some are bucking the industry trend of contraction and even investing more in R&D than Apple.

    Having the most profit is largely irrelevant for consumers unless it is put to profitable use. Apple had a cash hoard but did little with it. Others have made less profit but achieved more all the same. That is one of the reasons why competitors have been able to leapfrog Apple on iPhone.

    Not everyone can have the 'most profits and Apple is ahead, thanks in part to increasing prices. It could be argued that charging more has brought in profits but at the cost of stalling or contracting sales. I think most people now believe that there is no more room for that particular strategy so I expect prices won't increase this year.

    Depending on competition and actual sales going forward, we might even see a drop in iPhone prices.


    Your list of ‘compelling’ features is really not that compelling. Outside of the camera enhancements not sure any regular joe blow cares.  And even then we see the iPhone camera getting rated at or near the top. And in 4k/HD video recording the iPhones are the best.

     If Android vendors want to have an arms race (again), so be it. Prices will rise and we will see more vendors go out of business or become irrelevent. Moto and LG say hi. 

    Also, you talk of growth by who I can only guess is Huawei. Their growth is pretty much down to the Honour series which are non-premium phones.  This is the narrative Huawei wants to drive: Growth in a mature, stagnated market. Also, helps the Chinese gov’t is pretty much forcing its people to use China made products. Funny how many devices you can sell when you have no choice and the gov’t likes you the best.
    radarthekatcornchipfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 130 of 166
    Yep, I've certainly slowed down my upgrade cycle. I'd always upgraded every two years but now that the phones are costing $1K+, I'm figuring on keeping my iPhone X for three years, maybe even four unless Apple comes up with something I can't live without. Even if I have to put in a new battery, it'll be cost effective if the alternative is a thousand dollar phone which doesn't do anything significantly better than my iPhone X. 
  • Reply 131 of 166
    felix01 said:
    Yep, I've certainly slowed down my upgrade cycle. I'd always upgraded every two years but now that the phones are costing $1K+, I'm figuring on keeping my iPhone X for three years, maybe even four unless Apple comes up with something I can't live without. Even if I have to put in a new battery, it'll be cost effective if the alternative is a thousand dollar phone which doesn't do anything significantly better than my iPhone X. 
    No one, not even Apple, is expecting you to upgrade every year! I dont think Apple ever expected consumers to upgrade till at least 2yrs. 

    I find it interesting that people were willing to spend $750 or $800 on a new phone but $999 is too steep.

    What is the price point where people would actually upgrade every year? every other year? 

    You can currently get $300 trade-in credit for a 7 Plus. $999 is to steep, is $700 still to steep? How about $500 for the XR?

    Price is the low hanging fruit narrative that is easy to say why you didnt upgrade. I am guessing most wouldnt have upgraded anyway.  

    If you have a 5s/SE/6/6s the price point of the XR and the enhancements in tech are worth the jump. Sell/trade in your old phone while it still has value.  Waiting till your current device dies only makes things more expensive.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 132 of 166
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member

    k2kw said:
    jungmark said:
    k2kw said:
    rfrmac said:
    This should be no surprise to anyone.  This should show that Apple need to be more inventive with the introductions of NEW products.  When you come out with new phones every year, the changes in them are going to be smaller.  Spend more time on updating other products you have.  How long have we waited for the real Pro Mac?  Apple needs to be more than a phone company in the future when it comes to hardware.  Apple really needs "The next big thing".
    Does Coke need a next big thing? Google? Netflix? They all have their established product lines and the world is OK with that. Apple has iPhone, Macs, iPad, etc and each of these is as big or bigger than other entire corporations. They’re fine. They don’t “need” the things most armchair CEOs think they do. 
    You're comparing Apples to oranges.    Companies that make physical products like cars and electric appliances do need need new products every year.    Netflix relies on subscriptions (but doesn't make much money yet).   Google makes billions from advertising.   Its just the nature of Technology that what's new is worth more than what's old. It's pretty useless to whine about it.   rfrmac is right.   Apple needs "The next big thing"  and they know it.   They've been partially successful with the iPad and watch.    Not so with the HomePod.   That's also why they have flirted with automotive technology via Project Titan.
    Cars get redesigned every 4-5 years, not every year. My 2013 Altima looks like the 2017 Altima with minor changes on the inside.  The iPad and watch have been very successful BTW. 
    And the 8Plus looks the same as the 6Plus but they do model refreshes every year.   iPad and watch are succesful but no iPhone.   
    Huh? No, cars come out every single year. Major design changes less often. iPhone, iPad, and Watch are all successful product lines. You’re high. 
    You're high if you think the iPad and/or watch sell anywhere near as much as the iPhone.    And that the stick which all apple products are measured against whether you realize it or not.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 133 of 166
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member
    According to 9to5Mac Apple is now sending push notifications to users who either had an Apple Music subscription and canceled or never signed up after their trial period was over. The notification is offering them another 3 month free trial. Bloomberg had a story last week about the new head of Apple retail and in it they said Apple store employees told to push people with out of warranty devices into a new device over fixing their existing one. And we know stores had signage as you walked in promoting the trade-in promotional deal (which is still the first thing you see on apple.com). I get the sense Apple execs really are panicked about iPhone sales. And also that there’s no new exciting hardware product coming for a while. I just hope these new original content and news/magazine services don’t get released half baked because Apple is in a rush to be offering more things they can charge people for.
    Sounds like desperation.    I won't be surprised if people start "cutting the cord" with their spotify/Apple Music accounts.   There seems to be a bad trend to try to monetize many things on the web that people used to experience for Free.    The it will be unfortunate if "news" goes subscription like NYTimes paywalls.    There will probably be an ideological separation of these news services.     I would not be surprised if Apple gets into the bottled water game.
  • Reply 134 of 166
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member
    bitmod said:
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.

    Had an X - hated the .42 cent speaker they put in it so I went back to the far superior sounding iPhone 6. I miss the screen, camera and responsiveness of the X - but my 6 has higher quality audio and is fast enough for average use. Replaced the battery and now I’ll wait for Apple to get their heads out of their ass and release another quality phone at a reasonable price. I paid $200 for my 6. Paid $1800 for the X. I can’t stress enough how not worth the money the X is. Maybe at $600... but $1800... lol, never again.
    One of the sad things about the iPhone and smartphones in general is how the public's appreciation has been dumbed down over they years by these tiny speakers.    Its just physics.

    I do remember at one time that when Apple came out with their new phone several years ago that the audio sounded muted due to the waterproofing.      It seems like since then Apple has slowly been trying to get their audio a little better to a point.   With so many of their listeners switching to the AirPods they probably don't feel the need to improve the audio in the phone that much.   Its "Pay an extra $160 for these buds so that you can listen to the same level of crappy audio that we used to give you for free".

    It's not surprising that Apple cheapend down their internal audio hardware.   I liken it to the lower quality retina display that they released on the XR compared to the 8Plus.   They did the same thing a few years ago with their camera when they went from an 8 MP in the iphone 6 to the 12 MP in the iphone 6S.     The camera did get better in the XR do to the bigger sensor but only because they paid for it with the cheaper phone.   Its the same trick they basically pulled with the switch to the cheaper Intel modems.

    Thanks for the warning about the iPhone X.   Maybe they will put a decent dac in it some day.     Of course Apple could really surprise some people and return the headphone jack to the phone.   I'm holding out for real real innovation like Solid State Batteries before I upgrade.   Having tried to kill off their competition from QualComm I think it will be at least 3 or 4 years before Apple has a decent 5G modem.

     


  • Reply 135 of 166
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member
    avon b7 said:

    avon b7 said:
    clarker99 said:
    avon b7 said:
    clarker99 said:
    One thing I see is that people do not realize how much value a used iPhone has in grey market. Getting $200-$250 for a 6s is really good value for a 3 1/2 yr old device. Why dont more people leverage this?  

    For whatever reasons, it seems iPhone customers want to use the phone until it has zero value and then complain about the price of a new one. Trade-in/selling on Craiglist 1-2 yrs earlier (and considering time-value of money/inflation) you provide yourself better value. Especially, if your carrier or Apple provide zero cost financing. 
    People complain because prices have gone up. That's reasonable. Zero cost financing still means paying that increased price so the complaint remains valid.

    As a result, some people will hold onto their phones longer. Others will opt to stay on older second hand phones. Both actions impact the sales of the newer, higher priced models.

    Selling your phone to leverage the purchase of a new phone actually happens but clearly not enough to move the needle by any significant amount on sales of the new models.

    It is reasonable to think Apple's current pricing (the price end users actually pay) is simply hitting users' price ceilings and as a result, they aren't biting.

    Couple that with no compelling reason to upgrade and intense competition and you can see and understand (at least to a large degree) why things are like they are.


    I am not even sure why I am answering you but Going from a 5s/SE6/6s to a current gen iPhone is a significant jump in tech. Using your existing device to leverage a better price every 2-3 yrs is just smart.  Or run your device till it dies and pay the going price in 2020 or 2021. Your not saving anything bc a dollar today is not worth a dollar tommorrow and your old phone is worth nothing. Unless you think Apple will cut the price of iPhones down $200-$300... and good chance that is not happening.
    A significant jump in tech but not compelling and if the price is too high, everything is moot.

    Don't take my word for it. Look at the iPhone market and how it flattened for three years and just contracted - right on its historic blowout quarter.

    You can wish people to do what you say - and some do do that - but it isn't turning things around.

    It not what I think. I believe the market is speaking for itself. Now it is up to Apple to take action if it feels it is necessary to do so.
    Has anyone ever explained the difference of correlation and causation to you? You’re attempting to claim the reason for flattening sales is what you want it to be, when that is not a given nor proven. Everyone has said for years that the iPhone growth could obviously never be sustained indefinitely, as there is only one shift from feature phone to smartphone. It happened. Most of the world that needs a smartphone, has one. That level of growth would never be sustained. And it didn’t need to... If Apple can put out a product that people want to buy, and do so profitably, that’s what matters. So far there is no indication that this isn’t happening. Profitability remains good. Profit is the air corporations breathe. 

    The sun will also burn out one day. Not because of price either. 
    So, in a world where services is becoming a major area of revenue growth for Apple and a way to reduce its iPhone dependency, you believe Apple shouldn't be worried about flat or slowing sales of its star product even though 80% of that 'mature' market is still there for the taking! A tacit admission that iOS is not truly growing beyond hand-me-downs and second hand sales. That is older phones and iPads.

    In that world of flat or decreasing sales should Apple add more services (video distribution is the next) to its platform as an exclusive feature to Apple users or open it up to the other 80%? 

    I for one never claimed Apple would be able to sustain its growth rate. Totally the opposite. That isn't the issue (although everything I have said on the subject has played out). The issue is growth though - but normal growth. Something that dried up three years ago and just contracted. That is not something I would be brushing off so lightly. 

    At least you have stopped dumping the term 'knockoff' into every post you make when it comes to the subject of competition. I suppose that is something to be grateful for although I suppose even you were able to see how poor it looked with iPhone not able to keep the pace from the second half of 2017 onwards and likely to fall even further behind in the coming weeks.

    The S10 is supposed to mark the comeback of Samsung this year after not really pushing the envelope during 2018. One can only hope that the 2019 iPhone refresh will do the same for Apple although September is a long way off.






    The number of high-end android phones seems to be decreasing.    I listen to the theVerge's podcast and even those guys' admit (let slip) that they build quality for Android phones is lower than Apple phones.    That includes Google's Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy lines.    That's a big reason that I don't switch to Android.   It often has better services like the Google Assistant.   I guess as long as GMAIL and Google Maps are on Apple Phones I'll stay.   



    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 136 of 166
    k2kw said:
    bitmod said:
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.

    Had an X - hated the .42 cent speaker they put in it so I went back to the far superior sounding iPhone 6. I miss the screen, camera and responsiveness of the X - but my 6 has higher quality audio and is fast enough for average use. Replaced the battery and now I’ll wait for Apple to get their heads out of their ass and release another quality phone at a reasonable price. I paid $200 for my 6. Paid $1800 for the X. I can’t stress enough how not worth the money the X is. Maybe at $600... but $1800... lol, never again.
    One of the sad things about the iPhone and smartphones in general is how the public's appreciation has been dumbed down over they years by these tiny speakers.    Its just physics.

    I do remember at one time that when Apple came out with their new phone several years ago that the audio sounded muted due to the waterproofing.      It seems like since then Apple has slowly been trying to get their audio a little better to a point.   With so many of their listeners switching to the AirPods they probably don't feel the need to improve the audio in the phone that much.   Its "Pay an extra $160 for these buds so that you can listen to the same level of crappy audio that we used to give you for free".

    It's not surprising that Apple cheapend down their internal audio hardware.   I liken it to the lower quality retina display that they released on the XR compared to the 8Plus.   They did the same thing a few years ago with their camera when they went from an 8 MP in the iphone 6 to the 12 MP in the iphone 6S.     The camera did get better in the XR do to the bigger sensor but only because they paid for it with the cheaper phone.   Its the same trick they basically pulled with the switch to the cheaper Intel modems.

    Thanks for the warning about the iPhone X.   Maybe they will put a decent dac in it some day.     Of course Apple could really surprise some people and return the headphone jack to the phone.   I'm holding out for real real innovation like Solid State Batteries before I upgrade.   Having tried to kill off their competition from QualComm I think it will be at least 3 or 4 years before Apple has a decent 5G modem.

     


    It is complete tripe. Audio is better in every way in the X. And AirPods are fantastic. I have not wanted my jack back since I purchased them. Even when I had an SE, I only used AirPods. The constant drivel and crying is more refelction on you guys than Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 137 of 166
    I just upgraded from a 7+ to an XS Max. While I like this new phone I find myself missing some of the features on the 7+. What I miss the most is the fingerprint reader which worked no matter what the environmental conditions were, well there is BBQ sauce gloobed fingers..... ;) I am using my password more now than at any time since my old 6+. Facial recognition does not work well in bright sun, or in bed when you are reading a Kindle book fall asleep and you have to use your password. While the innards on the XS-Max are supremely powerful I do not see any difference on a practical level from the 7+. I was looking forward to the Animojies and manimojis but because they are platform specific and most of my friends have Android phones I have very little use for them. The OLED display is great but it is not that much better the 7+. It boils down to 2 features 512 GB of storage, and wireless charging.  Verizon now includes the iPad in their interest free purchase plan. My old first model iPad Air still works OK but it’s A7 processor is really showing its age. The new iPad Pro would be a huge upgrade.  There are rumors, as there always are, the next iPhone will see the return of the fingerprint reader I miss this feature bad enough that it might cause me to upgrade. But the over all iPhone is going to have to be enough better to cause me to upgrade. This is the first time I have felt this way about iPhone upgrades.
    edited February 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 138 of 166
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,797member
    cgWerks said:
    avon b7 said:
    The compelling feature of 2018 on the camera side was the tri-camera and night mode with AIIS, allowing you to take handheld low light ultra high ISO shots at up to 8 seconds with outstanding results. The same technology also improved non-night mode photography. That was at the start of the year and also included x3 optical zoom allowing you to get great quality shots and x5 hybrid zoom with virtually no loss in detail. Later in the year ultra wide angle and super macro became available.
    I suppose in terms of cameras, but isn't the iPhone typically ranked 1st or 2nd in terms of cameras? Are we just talking features, or quality? Are these odd-ball phone models with special cameras, or the major popular models?

    The big one on that list, IMO, is zoom I suppose. That's the major shortcoming of phone cameras... well besides low-light. But, I'm skeptical that can really be solved by anything but bigger glass.

    avon b7 said:
    On the battery side Apple has never had anything compelling and is hampered by including a 5W charger in the box. Technologies like Supercharge and Supercharge 2 blast past the iPhone. At the end of last year we saw 40W chargers that charge so fast that you can watch the decimals move in real-time.
    Fast charging is hard on batteries, though. So, that's kind of a questionable feature. I guess if you're really in a hurry, it might be good at some times. Doesn't iPhone have fast charging too?

    avon b7 said:
    15W wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging. Live 3D object modelling. In screen fingerprint readers. Offline translations. Modems that are so fast that even Apple's latest 2019 are still behind, fastest wi-fi, dual frequency GPS etc - all on the same phone makes for a compelling device and cheaper than Apple's best offering.
    Most of that stuff isn't that compelling for me, but I guess it is for some. I think Face ID, unfortunately, was the Apple response to in-screen fingerprint reading (so, even if it gets working well, I suppose Apple won't go there). re: modems... do you mean 5G? The networks won't be around for years to even use it. Better GPS would be nice I guess. But, I also wonder how much of this stuff is spec-sheet filler, vs actual quality features that are useful.

    avon b7 said:
    Having the most profit is largely irrelevant for consumers unless it is put to profitable use. Apple had a cash hoard but did little with it. Others have made less profit but achieved more all the same. That is one of the reasons why competitors have been able to leapfrog Apple on iPhone.
    True, but companies also can't sell stuff at a loss, or super-close to a loss, without some kind of endgame.

    avon b7 said:
    Not everyone can have the 'most profits and Apple is ahead, thanks in part to increasing prices. It could be argued that charging more has brought in profits but at the cost of stalling or contracting sales. I think most people now believe that there is no more room for that particular strategy so I expect prices won't increase this year.

    Depending on competition and actual sales going forward, we might even see a drop in iPhone prices.
    Yeah, I guess I agree here. This will be especially true if the economy starts collapsing. Of course, I think many of the Android makers will *really* be in trouble then.

    avon b7 said:
    I'm not really into services myself but there is clearly money to be made. The problem I see is that video services limited to Apple platforms would mean not pushing the product to 80% of the market, but opening up that revenue stream to Android users wouldn't be doing the Apple hardware platforms any favours. Add to that that the streaming market is already crowded and consolidation normally follows when too many big fish are present in the same pool and we have yet to see if any of Apple's content has viewer appeal.

    I agree they should give it a shot but I wouldn't go out on a limb and say it was going to be a major revenue earner in the short term although when the service actually goes live, we'll be able to judge the quality of the productions and see if they have any potential big earners on their books.

    I also think gaming should finally get some love from Apple as well as the Mac of course which is not competitive IMO. 
    Yeah, I see the services... especially stuff like the TV shows and things, as a sign of Apple being a bit lost. They are now trying to increase revenue with a bunch of Apple-centric 'me too' type stuff. I suppose if they spend enough and hire the right people, they could produce a hit or two. I just don't see how that matters much in the big picture.

    And, that will especially be the case if we have an economic downturn. The first thing people will cut are a lot of these silly services that were initially cost-savers, but have no become competitors, collectively costing much more than the alternatives people flocked to them from.

    The gaming, yeah, I wish Apple would engage that. But, I think they are clueless. They could already be a major player if they'd prioritized getting there over trying to rake in some MFi cash.
    Huawei says the Supercharge hardware is not hard on the battery as there is complete control of the charging process. There are even chips in the cables and every step of the way and everything you need comes in the box. The result is that Supercharge fast charging exerts more control over the entire process than most standard charging designs. The result is that there is far more control and security in the process and heat is very well monitored.

    To give you a real world example, my Honor 7 which had fast charging (but not Supercharge) was fast charged every night off the stock charger. It had intense usage and would sometimes be topped up with whatever was available. That phone (which cost less than 250€) not only left the iPhone 6 (bought about the same time) in the dust when it came to charging speed but also outlived the iPhone 6 battery that suffered far less stress and needed to be replaced before the Honor 7 showed any signs of wear and never had to be replaced anyway.

    iPhones ship with 5W (an insult IMO) chargers and slow charge. You can buy or use other chargers with more power and they will charge faster but don't hit the same speeds as competing phones. Some Androids will even reverse charge via cable or wirelessly. Wireless reverse charging is slower (but will get faster) and - I think - about the same speed as an out of the box iPhone charger.

    You are correct on cameras and image quality. Since the iPhone 6 I'm sure many users have been very happy their results. However, in the high price bands, features like x3 zoom and Night Mode become compelling when purchasers realise that other phones simply don't (or didn't) have those features. They provide versatility as they go places other phones simply can't go. There are rumours (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course) that point to up to x10 optical zoom appearing on phones in a matter of weeks.

    On the subject of compelling features, x3 optical zoom and night mode can be considered compelling in their own right but there are other features like dual frequency GPS etc that many can live without. This is why plain FaceID is not compelling IMO as it us simply another biometric. It simply substitutes one biometric sensor for another. The end result is exactly the same. Many people can easily live without FaceID. That said, if you can lump a group of lesser 'non compelling' features together there is a chance that the handset - as a whole - can become compelling. I think this is where the 2018 iPhone refresh (akin to an 'S' cycle) suffered. It was a minimal evolution over the previous iPhone X. The 8 series and earlier were already at a disadvantage due to their dated look. Unfortunately, Apple did itself no favours by marketing the X series phones directly against last year's iPhone 8 series, driving home the notion that foreheads and chins don't cut it anymore. At the same time 3D depth sensing on the original X wasn't advanced in any way with the 2018 refresh while competitors not only implemented their own variants, but gave them new uses (3D live modelling). This lack of innovation will allow competitors to move further ahead. The one compelling addition to the latest iPhone didn't actually involve any real innovation at all: dual SIM.

    On the subject of modems Apple obviously has a history of what looks like dissatisfaction (it now appears to be looking to make its own). In 2017 the first Cat 20 modems arrived. iPhone users tried to diminish the differences with regards to their handsets by claiming that networks weren't fast enough to fully take advantage of them. That is true for some areas (especially in the US) but fails to take into account two key points:

    1. While not universal, there are plenty of areas that can benefit from Cat 20 and Huawei tested their modem in San Francisco and saw it fly past iPhone X

    2. Carriers constantly update the quality of their networks and not having access to a fast network at purchase time doesn't mean there won't be access during the life of the phone.

    This is all ignoring other aspects of the modem and antenna setup, such as it forming part of the SoC (Apple's isn't) , how it handles cell tower handovers and performance on high speed trains etc.

    Anyway while iPhone users tried to negate the benefits of a faster modem due to infrastructure limitations Apple went ahead (a year late) and included a gigabit modem on the iPhone 2018 refresh. Then there were lots of comparisons comparing the new iPhone modems to the old iPhone modems and affirmations that pointed major gains on the newer phones. The problem is that competitors didn't stand still, and just as Apple finally reached gigabit status, Android handset makers pushed ahead again.

    All this without even touching the subject of 5G where Apple will again be late to the roll out 
  • Reply 139 of 166
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 258member
    fastasleep said:
    [...] Buying phones outright on this type of plan is a far better deal than the trade-in/upgrade programs or the opaque "subsidized" plans of years past.
    You're right. With the sudden death of my iPhone 6+ I was again in the position of finding the most cost-effective way of acquiring a new iPhone. The least expensive option was to walk into an Apple Store and buy one. The increase in the cost of my plan to get one "subsidized" by my carrier would have added up to more dollars spent over two years.
    For a family plan with Verizon & AT&T the old subsidized plans were cheaper than T-Mobile. I know. At the time I went to T-Mobile and priced out 3 new iPhones plus service costs. The subsidized plans were cheaper. I went online and discussed it with T-Mobile fans and they admitted that I was right. Their answer? Get cheap Android phones! 
    * In the old days, Verizon and AT&T focused on the family customer. T-Mobile focused on the single phone customer. Verizon and AT&T wanted iPhone users and subsidized the cost of those phones to get those families. But T-Mobile did the big two a favor. Once the family plan subsidies were gone, Verizon and AT&T could make more $ every time the family bought new iPhones. That’s my situation. With the family subsidized plan I’d be getting 3 new iPhones every 2 years. Now with the subsidies gone I’m paying almost the same without new iPhones. My wife and I each have an iPhone 6 and my son has a 5S. And we are waiting before spending a lot of $.
    edited February 10
  • Reply 140 of 166
    bb-15 said:
    fastasleep said:
    [...] Buying phones outright on this type of plan is a far better deal than the trade-in/upgrade programs or the opaque "subsidized" plans of years past.
    You're right. With the sudden death of my iPhone 6+ I was again in the position of finding the most cost-effective way of acquiring a new iPhone. The least expensive option was to walk into an Apple Store and buy one. The increase in the cost of my plan to get one "subsidized" by my carrier would have added up to more dollars spent over two years.
    For a family plan with Verizon & AT&T the old subsidized plans were cheaper than T-Mobile. I know. At the time I went to T-Mobile and priced out 3 new iPhones plus service costs. The subsidized plans were cheaper. I went online and discussed it with T-Mobile fans and they admitted that I was right. Their answer? Get cheap Android phones! 
    * In the old days, Verizon and AT&T focused on the family customer. T-Mobile focused on the single phone customer. Verizon and AT&T wanted iPhone users and subsidized the cost of those phones to get those families. But T-Mobile did the big two a favor. Once the family plan subsidies were gone, Verizon and AT&T could make more $ every time the family bought new iPhones. That’s my situation. With the family subsidized plan I’d be getting 3 new iPhones every 2 years. Now with the subsidies gone I’m paying almost the same without new iPhones. My wife and I each have an iPhone 6 and my son has a 5S. And we are waiting before spending a lot of $.
    Yup. I used the word "subsidized" sarcastically. I should have said "cost of the phone paid partly up front and partly through the monthly payment that includes, but does not separately itemize, both the service and the remainder owing on the phone."

    I don't know how long ago "the old days" you describe were, or how different things are in your region than mine. I'm in Vancouver. My wife and I each bought iPhones in January of 2015. Even then, only certain plans allowed us to include the cost of the phone in the monthly bill. The difference in cost between those plans and "Bring Your Own Device" plans was a little more than the price of the phone spread over the contract term.

    At least one of the discount carriers now splits out the cost of the phone from the price of the plan. That both provides more flexibility in service options and automatically adjusts the monthly cost when the phone is paid off. My carrier, one of the Big 3 in Canada, still doesn't do that.
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