If you’re looking for the reason why Apple just experienced a decline in year-over-year iPhone sales, go ahead and blame it on me. Well, me and millions of other people just like me.
Formerly faithful upgrades
For the past six years, I have upgraded my iPhone every 24 months, as soon as my carrier contract was up for renewal. I happily went from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6 Plus. Each time I upgraded, I was thrilled to get the new model with its bigger screen, faster performance and other cool bells and whistles.
Sure, I was bummed when I had to throw away all of my old peripherals to work with the new Lightning connector used in the Apple 5, but I got over it. Eventually. And I loved each new phone I bought, convinced it was the best mobile device available—or at least close enough for government work, as they used to say.
While I often had some desire to get the improved S versions of each phone model, it was never enough to justify paying full boat instead of waiting for that sweet carrier subsidy.
Good enough, I guess
But now—not only did I not have even a passing interest in the iPhone 6s, but I also don’t really have much interest in the iPhone 7. Like the record-breaking crowds of other iPhone 6 buyers, I’m now pretty much committed to keeping my device for as long as I can. The new features in the S models don’t seem compelling to me, and some of the stuff being rumored for the iPhone actually sound counter-productive.
No headphone jack? Seriously? I’ve spent real money on some sweet aftermarket noise-cancelling headphones, not to mention earbuds and exercise phones that actually stay in my ears. (Apple’s earbuds fall out almost instantly.) The last thing I want is to have to toss them out like my old 30-pin connector music docks or gum up the sleek lines of my device carrying around a bulky, expensive adapter.
On the plus side for Apple, when my current device gives up the ghost, I still fully intend to replace it with a new iPhone, unless Android ups its level of fit and finish or concocts some awesome new feature that I haven’t heard about yet but just gotta have.
But I’m not going to buy a new iPhone just because my contract is up. Plus, the carriers are making device subsidies harder and harder to get anyway.
Me, and lots of other people
Apple’s numbers make it clear that I’m far from being the only one who feels this way. Enterprises for sure aren’t going to upgrade just for the heck of it.
Ultimately, Apple seems to be a victim of its own success. The company sold record numbers of the iPhone, and it’s such a great device that few people are clamoring to replace it. I may be wrong, but there’s a real chance that situation will hold true even when the iPhone 7 comes out. We’ll see later this year.