Every Time We Wait More to Renew Smartphone, How do the Big Ones in the Sector Respond?

Renewing smartphone is still one of the most important habits when we talk about consumer electronics.


Renewing smartphone is still one of the most important habits when we talk about consumer electronics. The majors of the sector, among which are names of the caliber of Samsung, Apple, LG, Xioami and Huawei, have made an annual commitment, but consumers are not able to keep up.

Presenting a deep renovation of ranges and series every year allows consumers to access the latest developments in the sector without delay, but at the same time, it raises a business model that is beginning to show symptoms of exhaustion. Not even Apple has been immune to a clear and simple fact: every time we wait for more to renew smartphone, but why is this happening and what measures are the big players taking to alleviate it?

There are two interesting questions that we are going to answer in detail in this post. Before starting, it is essential to bear in mind that when we talk about the extension of the smartphone renewal cycle, we do not limit ourselves to include those users who use a terminal for more than two years, but in general to all those who do not follow the renewal cycle annual that sellers and manufacturers pose.

Wait to renew smartphone?

It is one of the most important points. A few years ago, the difference between a mid-range smartphone and a high-end smartphone was very marked. The first was usually finished in plastic, had specifications at the level of hardware and cameras that did not approach the top model and also stopped receiving updates very soon.

With the advent of programs such as Android One and the pressures from users, the issue of software updates and support improved noticeably. It is an advance that was accompanied by a very large evolution at the hardware and software level. Little by little the mid-range smartphones were using previously exclusive high-end materials, such as aluminum and metal and glass combinations, and they have also been counting on better and better components (CPU, RAM, storage and cameras).

The consequence of that evolution has been clear. Today, the line that separates mid-range smartphones from high-end models has been greatly diluted, so much so that manufacturers and sellers have had to bet on introducing improvements and exclusive features that they have ended up extending the useful life of most smartphones. It is not a trivial issue, today a Galaxy S6 offers excellent performance in every way, and we are talking about a model that was top of the range in 2015.

Users are increasingly aware that their ‘old smartphone’ still has much to offer, a feeling that is being felt and will only grow and grow in coming days.

What do manufacturers do?

As we have indicated previously, they have opted to innovate and introduce exclusive functions in high-end smartphones (all screen finishes, multi-camera configurations, flexible screens, etc.) that, in one or two years, eventually reach most terminals of mid-range. With this strategy they manage to encourage a part of the users to renew their smartphone; it is not their only “ace up their sleeve.”

Giants such as Samsung and Apple have realized the importance of diversifying in the high-end market to reach a higher number of users. Until the arrival of the iPhone 5c Apple only marketed a top-of-the-line smartphone a year, now commercializes three models of the last generation; iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, and maintains the iPhone 8-8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus series. As we can see, there has been a major change in strategy.

Samsung has done the same and has marked a turning point this year with the announcement of three Galaxy S10; Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, which have shared the limelight with Galaxy Fold. We can also find in the market the Galaxy S9 series and Galaxy S8 series at attractive prices, and in the second half of 2019, we will see Galaxy Note 10.

Chinese manufactures Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and others have also similar lines of smartphones both at mid-range and high-end categories along with the new innovative products such as Huawei Mate X and upcoming foldable phone from Oppo and Xiaomi.


Diversify is the motto for all with the goal of reaching both users who can pay more than 1,000 euros and expect a premium experience for it as well as those who have a tighter budget.

Apple has also begun to offer the possibility of delivering second-hand iPhones to get a discount on the purchase of a new generation model, and Samsung has chosen to provide gifts with associated with pre-purchase promotions (a Galaxy Buds in the case of the series Galaxy S10, valued at 149 euros).

As we see, there are many ways to encourage consumers to renew their smartphone, although, in the end, each giant adopts a strategy with its own particularities.

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