iPhone design has changed many times over the years, though never too radically. Even though Apple releases a new version of its flagship smartphone every year, it is not rare to see people using it iPhone 11, Xor even older.
And it’s proven: 61% of iPhone users kept their previous iPhones for two years or more, while only 41% of Android users did the same, according to the new Data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
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As an iPhone user, I can say this has been the case for me. I just compulsively upgraded to a new iPhone, because my iPhones seem to have a special affinity for washing machines. I am not alone; I see some people are still using their rounded-edge iPhones
But the reason people seem to keep their iPhones longer than Android phones goes beyond simple preferences.
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Sure, new iPhones are released annually, but Apple is the only manufacturer that makes them. Conversely, Android phones are made by companies like Samsung, Motorola, Google, ZTE, and more, each with at least one annual release.
When it comes down to it, both brands have loyal communities of users. CIRP explains that people perceive iPhone users as more affluent and tech-forward while Android users are more budget-conscious, but the data doesn’t add up.
Only 10% of iPhone users kept their devices for less than a year, while 21% of Android users switched phones within a year.
My husband and I keep our older iPhones longer because we find them more durable than Android phones, especially as former loyal Android owners.
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Even after a lot of wear, we find that iPhones last us more than four years, potentially longer, if they stay out of the washing machine. With Apple supporting iOS updates for five to six years, iPhones have historically been current longer than Android phones.
Instead, each smartphone manufacturer that uses the Android OS has a different timeline and policy for updates, with some Android phones offering only two to three years of support. However, Google may signal change as it announced that its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, launched this month with Android 14, will receive seven years of Android updates and security updates until October 2030.
“For the most part, Android phones are less expensive, so Android owners may be willing to retire relatively new phones,” the study surmises.
Whether iPhones are more durable, iPhone users are more easily satisfied with their older models, or Android buyers want to take advantage of lower prices is up for debate.