Bad news for Apple: People are holding on to their iPhones longer

Analysts at Citi lowered their estimates for Apple’s June and September quarters this morning in a note with the alarming title, “Look Out…Look Out…Look Out…Lowering Estimates Given Demand Pause and Lengthening Replacement Cycles.”

In plain English? People are going to be holding on to their iPhones a lot longer in coming years, as this chart from the report shows. A year ago, the replacement cycle was two years. By September 2018, it will be three years.

The good news for Apple is that the active installed base of iPhones is also increasing, which means Apple could make considerably more money selling apps and subscription services than it has. That’s why Tim Cook made such a big deal about Apple’s move to “services” on its recent earnings calls.


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