“Despite the chatter around flattening smartphone sales, sales of devices aren’t headed for a ‘perpetual decline,’ according to a note from UBS,” JP Mangalindan writes for Yahoo Finance.

“Smartphone sales are expected to decline 5% this year because of a perceived lack of innovation around new features and because users are holding onto their devices longer. But UBS analyst David Mulholland predicts sales in 2020 will ultimately stabilize or even rebound slightly, increasing by 1%. That’s because manufacturers cap the lifetimes of devices by cutting off operating system software upgrades for older devices,” Mangalindan writes. “But more importantly, newer technologies such as 5G, which enable faster, more reliable internet connections, and foldable displays are expected to generate more interest in device upgrades.”

“Smartphone users in countries including the U.S., UK, and China are holding onto their devices between two and three months longer now than they were four years ago, according to research conducted by the investment bank in 2018,” Mangalindan writes. “Also worth noting: Japanese users hold onto their devices significantly longer (around 3 years) versus those in the U.S., who hold onto their devices just over 2 years on average.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Interestingly, UBS conducted a survey of 6,891 smartphone users in April 2018 across the U.S., UK, Germany, China, and Japan and found that recent Apple breakthroughs like the TrueDepth Camera (a subset of which is Face ID) and Artificial Intelligence are under appreciated by consumers compared to more easily understandable and easier-to-explain features like dual cameras.

Of course, only iPhone users have Face ID, not all smartphone users (we don’t know the mix of iPhone to pretend iPhone users in UBS’ survey), so that would account for Face ID’s low score as Android settlers would likely discount its importance since they don’t have access to it (The “we don’t have it, so we don’t need it” syndrome.) If you asked only iPhone users or, even better, only X-class iPhone users to rate the importance of Face ID, the result would like be much higher.

UBS: Net importance of new features after introduction