1 Economics and Lack of Carrier Subsidies
Apple, in its letter to investors, cited its own reasons for the lack of upgrades. For one, it said that discounted battery replacements likely impacted upgrade rates — even if the end result of those battery replacements is good for Apple’s brand image as a beacon of sustainability.
But the firm also attributes slower iPhone sales to “macroeconomic conditions” and lack of carrier subsidies. On that last point, it is worth noting how the market has shifted. You could once buy a subsidized iPhone at a hefty discount with a contract.
These days, you just have to rent or finance that phone and pay it off over a certain period. Shelling out $40 a month to lease a new iPhone XS Max, on top of paying for the wireless plan, might not sound appealing to many would-be upgraders.