3 Incremental Upgrade-ism
One of the other factors that are likely driving consumers to hold onto their iPhones a bit longer is the fact that many years only feature incrementally upgraded iPhones. In Apple parlance, some years are “S” years — where the flagship model only contains small updates.
Last year, for example, Apple’s iPhone XS only sported minimal updates over its iPhone X predecessor — like an upgraded CPU and camera. Faced with these relatively unexciting upgrades, consumers may be opting to hold onto their devices for longer while they wait for the truly innovative refreshes. That’s especially true as iPhone prices rise.