Verizon said its upgrade rate fell to a record low last quarter proof that Smartphone companies attempts to woo customers with higher prices without compelling tech boosts has failed.
Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said that incremental changes from one model the next, hasn’t been that great, and it hasn’t been enough of an incentive. He expects replacement rates to be down for the year.
This is bad news for Verizon's partner Apple which has been underpressure as sales of its popular device slow in major markets. Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers cut his forecast for iPhone shipments to 40.4 million from 44 million for Apple’s second quarter, which ends this month.
We noted the trend five years ago when carriers stopped offering deeply discounted phones in exchange for two-year service plans. Instead, they marketed installment payment plans for new phones priced at up to $1,000.
Apple's sales peaked in 2015 with the iPhone 6 and phones which followed have not been much different.
Walt Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG warned that it had been four years since the iPhone 6 ‘super cycle,’ and the replacement cycle continues to lengthen.”