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

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  • Reply 141 of 166
    claire1claire1 Posts: 510unconfirmed, member
    kitatit said:
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.
    I used to be a 2year upgrader. But Apple prices now have made me choke and hold off the last two years. I was absolutely ready to buy an iPhone X but just can’t stomach the price. OK, here comes the XS, I’ll get that..... what? They raised the price again! Choke again, OK iPhone 11?.... 

    It’s always been a case of you couldn’t give me an Android for free but the thought of switching to Android has actually crossed my mind now. 

    My iPhone 6 is looking like a 5year upgrade cycle. 
    We’ll surely it’s crossed your mind that with an Android you wouldn’t have the option of waiting 5 years between upgrades. The very fact you can wait this long speaks to the reality that iPhone has a much lower total cost of ownership. When your financial circumstances allow, if you upgrade to a new iPhone you can expect to get the same if not more years out of it. 

    Figuring $1,100 for a new iPhone XS Max, that comes out to $18 a month or less over its life cycle.
    Most people upgrade their androids every few months.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 142 of 166
    GeeAyeGeeAye Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.
    Because you said? Because the data the analysts used was wrong?
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 143 of 166
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,235member
    clarker99 said:
    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.
    But, I don't want an XR. Yes, the enhancements are nice, but I don't like the form-factor.

    k2kw said:
    ... 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.
    ...
    I would not be surprised if Apple gets into the bottled water game.
    I think it depends on the economy. We're in a relative boom right now, but if times get hard, or possibly really hard, all that stuff will dry up quickly. That's at least part of the reason I think Apple putting more eggs in the 'services' basket is short-sighted.
    LOL on the bottled water. No doubt.

    k2kw said:
    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.
    ...
    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.
    Yeah, the state of audio has gotten pretty bad. Hopefully some good audiophile stores stay afloat, if only so that we can have a place to take the youth to let them know what music really should sound like. (I'm guessing most have their best sound experience as a car stereo or a live concert... neither of which are typically anything great.)

    re: 5G - I don't think, unless one lives in really specific places, we'll have any need for a 5G modem for 3 or 4 years.

    avon b7 said:
    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.
    ...
    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.
    Regarding the charging thing... I'm probably just the odd one. I charge my phone overnight and that's typically about it (unless I'm driving in the car, where it is also plugged in, but mostly to offset drain from navigation). I just don't currently really need or care about longer battery life or faster charging. But, I guess a lot of people do. I also could care less about wireless charging.

    I think the problem (at least in Canada, maybe the USA) is that the data amounts have been so small for the plans, and so costly, that the speed just means you'll blow through your limited data even more quickly. Since we can't really use our phones like we do our computers - in regard to data - the speed of the limited data things we do is kind of irrelevant.
    muthuk_vanalingammbenz1962watto_cobra
  • Reply 144 of 166
    claire1 said:
    kitatit said:
    wood1208 said:
    4 years replacement cycle sounds unreasonable. People go at most 2 1/2 to 3 years most.
    I used to be a 2year upgrader. But Apple prices now have made me choke and hold off the last two years. I was absolutely ready to buy an iPhone X but just can’t stomach the price. OK, here comes the XS, I’ll get that..... what? They raised the price again! Choke again, OK iPhone 11?.... 

    It’s always been a case of you couldn’t give me an Android for free but the thought of switching to Android has actually crossed my mind now. 

    My iPhone 6 is looking like a 5year upgrade cycle. 
    We’ll surely it’s crossed your mind that with an Android you wouldn’t have the option of waiting 5 years between upgrades. The very fact you can wait this long speaks to the reality that iPhone has a much lower total cost of ownership. When your financial circumstances allow, if you upgrade to a new iPhone you can expect to get the same if not more years out of it. 

    Figuring $1,100 for a new iPhone XS Max, that comes out to $18 a month or less over its life cycle.
    Most people upgrade their androids every few months.
    Lol. Pure, unadulterated non-sense. Next???
  • Reply 145 of 166
    If an analyst believes the “iPhone” of today will resemble an “iPhone” of ten years from now, then they should hand in their resignation. In all likelihood we will be onto something new, in much the same way that the iPhone replaced the iPod. 
    Probably the Apple Watch (with Siri and Air Pods) will replace many functions of the iPhone and everything else we want to do will happen on an iPad. No more iPhone, or about the same volume as iPods now.
  • Reply 146 of 166
    cgWerks said:
    [...] I think the problem (at least in Canada, maybe the USA) is that the data amounts have been so small for the plans, and so costly, that the speed just means you'll blow through your limited data even more quickly. Since we can't really use our phones like we do our computers - in regard to data - the speed of the limited data things we do is kind of irrelevant.
    I agree that data allowances are too small and we pay too much for what little we get. I do not agree that this makes speed irrelevant. I don't want apps to respond slowly or web browsing to take longer just because my data cap is limited. I want what little access I have to be quick and enjoyable.
  • Reply 147 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.


  • Reply 148 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)


    It's less accurate to say that I have reasons to not upgrade than it is to say that there is a dearth or reasons for me to upgrade.  My 7 is working just fine, and while some of the features of the X series would be nice to have, none of them are compelling enough to make me want to spend $750+ (even at only $40 per month) on a new phone.  I have little use for Face ID.  I get that it's easy to use and "more accurate" than Touch ID, but Touch ID works just fine for me, considering that I only use it to unlock apps and use Apple Pay, never to unlock my phone.  I can't help but think it would do nothing at all to improve my experience with those use cases.  The better camera is moot, since my DSLR is even better.  Since I don't play games or do photographic processing on my phone, the screen improvements are not enough to sway me.  The better speed would be nice, but again, not enough to make me pay.  The other features are similar, basically a collective "meh".

    My 7 still works well and is built to allow for an occasional drop. I wouldn’t feel safe dropping an X.

    Well, if you're not hiding that beautifully designed phone in a sturdy, not nearly as beautifully designed case, you must not care about your phone and shouldn't own one anyway. /s
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 149 of 166
    thttht Posts: 3,230member
    When I got my 6S Plus 3.5 years ago, I knew it was going to be a 4 year phone, and I’m waiting on the 2019 models now. This 4 year cycle statement doesn’t sound surprising to me whatsoever, and it may be underestimating how long people keep their phones. By “people”, I mean mass market customers, not any one individual.

    There hasn’t been a must have feature in recent years, and there doesn’t look to be any in the future. So, I think A9 SoC devices could be used until they break, which could be 5, 6, 7 years for a lot of if not most people. The main reason people would electively get a new device now is boredom with what they have after a few years, or they have to because their device breaks.

    4 to 9 years ago, new features had tremendous impact on the usage of smartphones. Cellular performance from 0.05, 0.5, 5, 50 Mbit/s made the devices materially different. CPU performance was basically going up by 1.5x to 2x every year for 5 years running. That made the devices materially different. Screen sizes basically quadrupled in the span of about 5 years. Storage has gone up by a factor of 100x.

    We’re been point of diminishing returns for a couple of years now, and people don’t need to upgrade, and shouldn’t upgrade quickly. The higher prices are the response to a matured market, not the cause of slowing sales in the market.

    If Apple wants more units sales, they have to go down market, but they really can’t do that until their services play has matured. If they do that, it really isn’t about hardware anymore. All the focus will be on their services and the hardware will be just generic screens whose revenue and profit won’t be important relative to the quality of the services.


    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 150 of 166
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,235member
    steveau said:
    Probably the Apple Watch (with Siri and Air Pods) will replace many functions of the iPhone and everything else we want to do will happen on an iPad. No more iPhone, or about the same volume as iPods now.
    I'm not sure that will be the case for a few of reasons... first, screen size. If the trend is to have bigger and bigger screens on phones, why would anyone want to go to a screen that's way, way smaller than the smallest phone?

    Second, physics? While I'm sure chips will get more efficient, I don't know if they will get enough more efficient to do what a phone does. Making longer-term connection to cell towers and/or BT (AirPods) is going to eat up battery, and it's a really tiny battery.

    Third, functionality. I just don't see a watch being able to do what a phone does. I suppose there is this futurist imagination of a Star Trek world where AI has advanced to the point where we can just have natural-language conversation with our 'computer' and it will 'intelligently' do what we request. Unfortunately, I think that kind of scifi is going to remain, for the most part, relegated to movies and TV shows. So, UI on small devices is going to remain a problem.

    lorin schultz said:
    I agree that data allowances are too small and we pay too much for what little we get. I do not agree that this makes speed irrelevant. I don't want apps to respond slowly or web browsing to take longer just because my data cap is limited. I want what little access I have to be quick and enjoyable.
    For the most part, that's not data speed though, but latency, poorly written software, and horrible web-sites. The speed would show up more in stuff like downloading a huge file or streaming a high-res video, etc. I could be wrong, but I think current cell connections are already fast enough to do what you're talking about. That said, maybe it's like WiFi (or DSL) where there is an advertised throughput and then there is reality.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 151 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.

    I said "compared to". I'm aware iPhones from the 5 era work great in bright, outdoor environments. That doesn't mean the X/etc don't vastly outperform it in various other environments even if your outdoor photography is working very well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 152 of 166

    jdw said:
    Adobe seems to be doing great with their subscription model NOW, but will they 10 years hence when people go through hard times and realize monthly fees are eating away at what little income they have?  It's down to how much spare cash you have and down to how much money you can make after paying off all these computers and subscription fees. 
    I would venture an educated guess that nearly all of Adobe's subscriptions come from people who use the software to make a living, in which case yeah the subscription fee isn't really eating away at income, is it?

    It's a better deal than buying and regularly upgrading the Master Collection ever was.

    jdw said:
    To get people like me (and there are many of us) to get excited again and spend more money on Apple products, you have to start catering to our needs and wants.  The Apple notebook line began a death cycle, in my eyes, starting in late 2016.  Bad keyboards, not a single USB-A port, no extension power code in the box anymore, no MagSafe, no LED on charging cable, no glowing Apple logo on back, a useless TouchBar -- these are things that sour many veteran Mac lovers on portable Macs.  It's time Apple stop listening to Johnny Ive extremist minimalism and start listening to customers.  When they do that, coming out with a great industrial design AND all the features we want and love, we consumers will be more willing to part with our hard earned money and send it Apple's way.  Give me most of what I want, and not only will I love you but I will scrimp and save to buy that new device.  (I remember doing just that, saving every last penny, so I could spend $1000 on a Quadra 650 logic board upgrade to my Mac IIvx.) Until such a time that I see really compelling products, I will continue to use my existing old tech.  My late 2009 iMac video card bake video is closing in on 200,000 views now.  It's still useful even though it's almost 10 years old.  I won't buy a new iMac until I feel my existing one cannot be used daily any longer.  Many "regular people" in my age group feel this way (still under 50 but getting dangerously close).
    You can leave me out of your "we" with regard to what customers want in a Mac, thanks. Also, Mac sales are up 9% year over year this past quarter. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 153 of 166

    I think this is where both the price hikes plus the lack of major innovative differences between the models starts to hurt Apple. Their best bet is to keep trying to clamp down on third party fixes, particularly battery changes, which has been one of the factors that's crippled Apple's bottom line recently (Cook specifically mentioned low cost battery upgrades as a major factor), plus iOS upgrades that slow older devices like molasses. In other words, really nothing good.
    Cook was referring to Apple's battery replacement program, not 3rd party repairs. And iOS 12 sped up older devices! 0 for 2 there buddy.
    edited February 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 154 of 166
    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.
    The speaker on the 6 sounds better than the X? You're smoking crack.

    Not sure what currency you're using but those numbers don't check out.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 155 of 166
    zoetmb said:
    Apple also needs to understand just who the buyers are who purchase $800 to $1000 phones.  I would argue that they're not the people who care about stupid cartoon GIFs to add to text messages and maybe they should stop pushing that in their marketing.   We're not junior high school girls.    Apple needs to add features and functions that matter, especially those that would matter to working people.   
    You should let Phil know that junior high kids aren't buying iPhones. 

    LOLLLLLLLLLL. Glad you're not in charge of marketing...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 156 of 166

    cgWerks said:
    I find it a bit amazing it was ever less than 4 years to begin with.

    jaiello said:
    Could it be that the cellular companies no longer offer a discounted price for the phone?  In the old days I could get a new iPhone every two years for $200.  Now I have to pay full price.  Makes me keep my iPhone longer.  They had to see that coming?   
    You never paid $200, you paid full price spread out over 24 months rolled into your plan. You can do the exact same thing now — I put down about 1/3 of my iPhone X and am paying the rest off interest free over 24 months on T-Mobile. It's the exact same thing.
    True, but they are making so much more money off all of us, that it's kind of irrelevant. Now they aren't subsidizing the phone AND they still charge massive bills. At least by buying it outright, you can shop for the lowest price plan, somewhat freely.
    It's not irrelevant. First off, they were never subsidizing your phone! Also, you can definitely get better prices on data plans separated from devices now than you could with a device "subsidy" (if you want to keep using that misnomer) rolled in.

    Back in the day I paid over $100/month for my iPhone plan with AT&T. I pay $60 now with T-Mobile (for an actual unlimited plan with better benefits than what AT&T offered) plus $30 payments for my iPhone X for the next few months, after which it goes back to just $60/month. You do the math.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 157 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.
    My Face ID works both in bright sun and in bed (except when half my face is obscured by a pillow or something). Maybe you got a lemon?

    Animojis will send to anyone regardless of platform.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 158 of 166
    beowulfschmidt said:
    I have little use for Face ID.  I get that it's easy to use and "more accurate" than Touch ID, but Touch ID works just fine for me, considering that I only use it to unlock apps and use Apple Pay, never to unlock my phone.  I can't help but think it would do nothing at all to improve my experience with those use cases. 
    2 more things:
    - Gaze detection prevents the screen from dimming or sleeping while you're reading something. 
    - Notifications can be "revealed" on the lock screen when you're looking at it, for privacy/security.

    It's awesome and miles better than Touch ID for all of these reasons together. Not sure why you wouldn't use either to unlock your phone. You like typing your passcode?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 159 of 166
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,235member
    fastasleep said:
    It's not irrelevant. First off, they were never subsidizing your phone! Also, you can definitely get better prices on data plans separated from devices now than you could with a device "subsidy" (if you want to keep using that misnomer) rolled in.

    Back in the day I paid over $100/month for my iPhone plan with AT&T. I pay $60 now with T-Mobile (for an actual unlimited plan with better benefits than what AT&T offered) plus $30 payments for my iPhone X for the next few months, after which it goes back to just $60/month. You do the math.
    Sorry to keep using that term, I suppose you're right. What I was trying to say is that early on (at least from what I remember) you'd pay closer to what plans are now, but you were paying off the phone in that, so the actual cellular voice/data portion of the bill was lower. Now, you pay more outright, and monthly for the phone, AND THEN they load on the higher voice/data rates as well.

    Maybe you're right about the initial cost of the AT&T plan, as I didn't have one back then. But, I think I remember $60-$80 plans that included the phone and voice/data at one point. Now you pay more outright for the phone + a lot of people pay $100+ for the plans, too.

    I guess things are now getting more competitive in the USA, it seems. That hasn't really happened up here in Canada. The only thing they are doing is slowing including a bit more data each year, but the prices have held steady or gone up.

    Same with Internet access. People used to pay, say $100 to have Cable and everything. Then the 'cord cutting' started. Now, people pay $100+ for Internet AND, then extra for TV or lots of individual payments to various subscription services. So, in effect, they are paying more now than before they started 'cord cutting.'

    How does $30 a month for a few months for an iPhone X work, though? More like 2 to 3 years?

    fastasleep said:
    2 more things:
    - Gaze detection prevents the screen from dimming or sleeping while you're reading something. 
    - Notifications can be "revealed" on the lock screen when you're looking at it, for privacy/security.

    It's awesome and miles better than Touch ID for all of these reasons together. Not sure why you wouldn't use either to unlock your phone. You like typing your passcode?
    OK, those are a couple interesting features if you need to keep your screen dimming that aggressive. Can you set it so it won't unlock when it detects your face, if you aren't also doing something else? My main issues I think I'd have with it, are that it would unlock when I don't want it to... and that I'd have a hard time getting it to unlock when the phone is mounted in the car or other such times when my face might not be in front of it.
  • Reply 160 of 166
    cgWerks said:
    steveau said:
    Probably the Apple Watch (with Siri and Air Pods) will replace many functions of the iPhone and everything else we want to do will happen on an iPad. No more iPhone, or about the same volume as iPods now.
    I'm not sure that will be the case for a few of reasons... first, screen size. If the trend is to have bigger and bigger screens on phones, why would anyone want to go to a screen that's way, way smaller than the smallest phone?

    Second, physics? While I'm sure chips will get more efficient, I don't know if they will get enough more efficient to do what a phone does. Making longer-term connection to cell towers and/or BT (AirPods) is going to eat up battery, and it's a really tiny battery.

    Third, functionality. I just don't see a watch being able to do what a phone does. I suppose there is this futurist imagination of a Star Trek world where AI has advanced to the point where we can just have natural-language conversation with our 'computer' and it will 'intelligently' do what we request. Unfortunately, I think that kind of scifi is going to remain, for the most part, relegated to movies and TV shows. So, UI on small devices is going to remain a problem.

    Look at the first iPod (10 Gb in 6.5 oz) and the 7th gen iPod Nano (16 Gb in 1.1 oz and only discontinued in mid-2017) and tell me that the reduction in size and weight while at the same time increasing capability is not going to continue. If I could tell you exactly how it was going to play out I'd be a rich guy already. Perhaps aWatch and connected glasses, or perhaps the market will bifurcate, with half going up in screen size to something like the iPad Mini and half gong down in screen size to the aWatch, or perhaps the iPhone XV will be micro thin and roll up into a tube that I can slap around my wrist. Wish I knew, but fun to be part of the ride.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
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