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Consumers are keeping smartphones, tablets and PCs longer

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 30, 2015
Trend leads Gartner to predict a decline in shipments of all types of devices in 2015.

The increase in the period of time for using a smartphone has led Apple to implement an Upgrade Program to allow customers to buy iPhones on an installment plan, something that Samsung is expected to emulate, Entner said.

Still, leasing plans and other inducements by device makers might not encourage buyers to exchange phones more quickly, unless the newest devices have more than incremental improvements, Nguyen said.

"The fact is that there's no compelling reason for users in the U.S. to upgrade their smartphone, and all the new releases are incremental upgrades, with more megapixels, a flashier screen, and more," Nguyen said. "People think, 'Now that I have a smartphone, it's good enough for what I need it for,' and that applies to most people in the market, not the tech early-adopter types. Vendors have to convince us to regularly replace a smartphone."

As for the iPhone 6S, Nguyen said new features like force touch will have to be tried and tested in the crucible of new apps from developers.


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