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iPhone upgrades slow in US, new survey shows

Published 15/05/2024, 12:28
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According to a Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) survey, U.S. consumers are holding on to their iPhones longer, which is likely to impact unit sales in the region over the next 12 months.

The survey also shows a clear preference for higher-priced phones with better camera features, which could still drive sales growth for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) despite stagnant unit sales.

Half of the survey respondents are using one of the last three iPhone models, down from 62% a year ago, pointing to a slower upgrade rate and a lengthening of the product-refresh cycle, directly affecting the number of phones sold annually.

This trend is supported by another survey question, where the percentage of consumers planning to upgrade within the next 12 months dropped to 46% in April from 60% in the fall of 2023.

Bloomberg Intelligence said the timing of the surveys – April 2024 and September 2023 – may have influenced the responses, as Apple typically announces a new phone each fall, generating more excitement in September.

Despite this, it's clear that consumers are keeping their phones longer due to inflation and high product quality, BI noted.

The survey also revealed that 54% of respondents intend to wait at least 12 months before upgrading their phones, up from 40% in September.

This pattern is evident even when the survey encompasses all smartphone users, including those with Android devices.

Per the survey's findings, the percentage of people upgrading every two years dropped to 23% in April from 31% in September.

Overall, these data points signal a challenging outlook for the smartphone industry in terms of annual unit sales, BI said.

By Vahid Karaahmetovic

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