AT & T and Verizon have revealed that update rates have reached record lows for the two operators, with fewer existing customers upgrading their devices, as noted by Bloomberg .
The downward trend in updates is not exactly new: update rates have had a downward trend for years, but the record lows recorded by the two largest operators in the US. UU They show a clear picture, both for AT & T and for Verizon and the hardware manufacturers. like Apple and Samsung. It means that fewer customers are interested in updating their phones and they are doing it less often than before.
It's easy to guess why customers are slowing down their updates. The latest waves of devices from most major brands have become increasingly iterative and increasingly expensive. Apple adjusted its iPhone sales projections earlier this year to take into account smartphone sales below expectations, and the company, in the last couple of years, has begun to shift its strategy more towards the services of software and subscriptions as a way to maintain revenue. The face of declining hardware sales. Meanwhile, Apple subsisted by increasing the average price of the iPhone and selling to customers newer models with four-digit price tags.
The news of the operators confirm that it is not only Apple, however. The whole industry seems to be struggling in general, if the trends of Verizon and AT & T are created.
The problem of the smart phone industry in a snapshot:
Part of the Verizon contracted customers who bought a new smartphone:
Q1 2014: 6.5%
Q1 2015: 6.5%
1Q 2016: 5.8%
1Q 2017: 5.2%
1Q 2018: 5.0%
1Q 2019: 4.4%
– Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) April 23, 2019  This may sound bad, but rising prices and declining returns from new smartphones is also just one piece of the puzzle. The mobile world is facing another big change, with 5G on the horizon. That could generate profits for operators and, because 5G requires special hardware components, it encourages customers to buy new phones to make the most of it. New form factors, such as collapsible hardware, could also give customers reasons to update, too (assuming the technology really works).