Originally Posted by BaldiMac
Good point. I'd think people are more likely to replace $150 phones more often than $600 phones.
Interesting point. I am not sure what Apple's deal is overseas with carriers or with any other carrier BUT - I do know (roughly) what their deal is with ATT when it comes to upgrades.
I preface this by saying this might not hold true for certain contracts on ATT - but applies to most.
ATT is legally not allowed to upgrade any iPhone customer to a new phone (subsidized) for a minimum of 18 months. Now - ATT can offer a reduced price on a new iPhone before then - but nothing fully subsidized.
However - as we know - there have been times where people's upgrade dates have been moved up with the release of a new iPhone. My best guess is because this is an agreement between Apple and ATT and Apple is the one who approves it.
So what's my proof point? I own both iPhones and now a Skyrocket. On both the store level (management) and Corporate - the account I have my Skyrocket on originally had an iPhone. Because I was upgrading to an Android phone, ATT could not let me upgrade (legally) until at least 18 months. However - they said if I already had an Android phone, and because I'm a long time customer/paid bills on time/etc - they could have offered me a fully subsidized phone as early as 6 months if I had really "fought" for it. Definitely after 12 months without much of an issue.
For Apple - it's a great deal because it really locks customers into their ecosystem unless the user wants to dip deeper into their saving to get out. But to stay with Apple - it's easier and at least twice, you've been able to update at full subsidy before you were "technically" allowed to.
Now - with the plethora of manufacturers and phones (and price points) - it's also easy to see why people can/do switch their phones more often on the Android platform as well. I wouldn't say it's "encouraged" - but it appears to be easier.
With the profit margin on Android phones being higher for the carriers (ATT) - and someone can correct me if I'm wrong - it matters less since ATT doesn't have a different rate plan for subsidized phone or not. In fact - it's possible that by selling more Android phones to the same customer - they might even be making more if they retain that customer for a long period of time (vs selling them one iPhone every 18-24 months).
But I'm not a statistician