During the presentation of Apple’s financial results yesterday, some interesting details were revealed in the question and answer round. Tim Cook let us drop possible new strategies like lowering the price of iPhones in some markets or the fact that there are already more than 1.4 billion active devices worldwide. In addition, he confirmed something that many of us suspected, the iPhone life cycle is bigger than ever .
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As we expected, Apple has offered lower results than expected in the first place. Apple blames, among other things, this decline on the renewal cycle of the iPhone. Customers no longer renew their iPhone every one or two years, but this period has been extended to longer periods .
This longer life cycle has been noted in the sales of new iPhones. To combat this Apple has pushed more than ever for promotions to renew the iPhone by offering a discount when buying a new one if you bring an old one. On the other hand, they have also sought to maintain these renewals in specific markets such as Japan, where local regulations have decreased operator subsidy programs. In response to this, Apple has reduced the price of the iPhone if it is purchased through an operator.
Why the iPhone life cycle has increased
The specific reasons why each person decides to wait one year more or one year less to renew their iPhone are certainly not known. However, there are a number of common factors in the last few years of Apple that do directly impact this decision. For example:
- The satisfaction rate: 99% satisfaction with the iPhone XS and XR this year for example. Apple has the highest satisfaction rates in the industry year after year, so many users feel comfortable with their phones and don’t need to renew or replace them as quickly as they used to.
- The battery replacement program: According to Tim Cook, although analysts suggested that Apple should not do it, the company “firmly believes it was the right thing to do for [its] customers. The battery replacement program for 29 euros in 2018 made many people give their iPhone a second life. An iPhone with a new battery dramatically improves its performance, no matter how old the model. And this has made users consider waiting another year before renewing it.
- iOS optimization: All versions of iOS are optimized for the iPhone hardware, but one that has certainly marked a turning point is iOS 12. This version allows you to upgrade to iPhone 5s and not only updates, but improves its performance. Once again, if the device maintains or improves its performance, it raises the possibility of not renewing it yet.
And the price? The price is not a direct factor that increases the life cycle of the iPhone, because it simply does not influence that an old model lasts more or less . In any case, price can influence the decision to opt for a new iPhone or to think about devices of other brands.
Products designed for the long term
The truth is that the longer life cycle of the iPhone should not take us by surprise. Many of the products that Apple presents are not developed simply thinking about the sales that they will have in the coming months , but in the benefit that is obtained throughout the years of them. The iPhone is a product that is designed thinking about how it is going to be used for years and from there the benefit is obtained from selling it but above all from the years of use. Examples:
- Upgrades to new iOS versions are maintained for at least five years.
- iPhone becomes more durable to reduce non-recycled materials as much as possible.
- App Store, Apple Music, iCloud… Apple obtains more and more income from its services, and this requires the user to maintain their iPhone for years.
If there is a conclusion that we can draw from all this is that the obsolescence programmed in Apple is nothing but a myth .
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