For a short period of time, it looked like iPhone buyers had (somewhat suddenly) begun to retire phones much sooner than before. The trend of keeping phones longer looked like it had reversed.
However, the folks at Counterpoint Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) wanted to know what happened. As it turns out, consumers do own phones for an increasingly longer time.
According to CIRP, for several years, the average age of the previous phone owned by iPhone buyers crept up. As of March 2019, 26% of iPhone buyers owned their previous phone for three years or more.
CIRP says this represented a continuation of an increasing trend over the previous years, dating back to the switch to full-price installment purchases plans from 2-year subsidized-price contracts between 2015 and 2017.