Why Apple and Samsung Release Phones Every Year
The life cycle of a phone has become rather predictable. A new model is released within a year after you spend hundreds of dollars on a new device, enjoy all the flashy specs, and feel out of date with it. You could feel like upgrading in two years or risk falling behind.
It’s a time-consuming and expensive endeavour. However, it’s a strategy that appears to be effective for businesses like Apple and Samsung, which release new flagship phones every year. They want to have something to tempt clients who might at any time be in the market for a new device.
“You might be fine with your phone today, but you are just one person,” Eli Blumenthal, a CNET mobile reporter, says in the video above. “There are plenty of people who bought a phone a year earlier than you, or maybe were walking around and dropped their phone on the pavement or in a toilet and need a new device, or a kid got a hold of it. They might want a new phone, and this could be the right time for them…. These companies want to make sure they have a product out there so when that person is looking for their new phone, they have an option.”
Even if there isn’t an actual need to replace your phone, it might be simple to feel compelled to do so in order to take advantage of the better camera or larger screen.
But because phones are getting more and more expensive—the majority of flagship phones cost between $700 and $1,200—people are keeping their gadgets for longer. According to a CNBC research, US smartphone customers kept their devices for an average of around 24 months before upgrading, up from approximately 22 months in 2016. However, this hasn’t stopped phone manufacturers from maintaining their annual release schedule.