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Smartphone Upgrade Cycles are Growing much Longer which Explains why Pricing is falling back to Earth

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While smartphone brands and service providers want consumers to trade up every other year, a new survey from carrier Ting Mobile indicates that the two-year phone upgrade cycle is, for many, a thing of the past. Of the 3,640 people Ting surveyed last month, 47 percent said they held onto their last smartphone for three to five years before upgrading.


It should be noted that any survey or statistical report these days can be biased, depending on how the questions are presented. So overall, don't take the stat findings below as gospel but rather as a snapshot of current trends within the Ting community which may or may not reflect a global trend.


Ting is a mobile virtual network operator and internet service provider launched in February 2012 by Tucows Inc. Ting provides cellular service in the United States using Sprint's CDMA, EV-DO 3G, and 4G LTE nationwide network as well as GSM service via the T-Mobile network. In 2014, they also launched fiber-to-the-home symmetrical gigabit internet in certain markets.


Ting's upgrade Cycle report cuts to the chase with a series of infographics as presented below. Click on the images to enlarge. Some enlarge larger than others.




We reported on price trends drifting lower at the end of July in a report titled "Both Apple and Samsung are Seeing the trend of consumers choosing Lower-End Smartphone models." We also touched on this in a report yesterday covering Gartner's Q2 2019 smartphone report where we showed how Samsung is addressing the pricing issue in certain markets.


Apple knows that the iPhone XR model saved the day for them in Q2 2019 and that the trend is away from the $1,000 + price range. While Apple is unlikely to change their pricing model for 2019, we'll get a better grasp on this pressure point next month. 


The Ting survey was conducted in July 2019. The Ting report was published last week on their blog. Ting happens to have an App that's free at the App Store.


If you agree or disagree with Ting's data, send in your comments below.


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