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Younger Apple customers drive iPhone upgrade demand

Yellow iPhone 14

Although younger people aren't addicted to using their iPhones, they tend to upgrade to the newest model more often than older Apple customers.

There were findings from a study on April 12 that challenged presumptions about the differences between younger and older customers and iPhone addiction. Specifically, it determined that young people don't replace lost or damaged iPhones as soon as older users.

However, this week's report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) concludes that younger people upgrade their iPhones more often to newer models than older Apple customers. For example, in 18 to 24-year-olds, 45% of consumers owned their previous phone for less than two years, over three times the rate of consumers aged 65 and older.

Meanwhile, 65% of customers aged 65 or older reported having their prior phone for at least three years, which is over 2.5 times the ratio for customers aged 18 to 24.

Age of previous iPhone by customer age
Age of previous iPhone by customer age

The results are similar even when casting a larger net to look at the 18 to 54-year-old group. In this larger group, between 40% and 45% of consumers in this larger group retired a phone that was under two years old.

Older phones showed a slightly higher disparity, with 21% to 27% of consumers in this age bracket giving up a phone they held for three years or longer. CIRP has a couple of potential reasons.

"The most obvious is that younger iPhone customers appreciate the sometimes-subtle improvements in subsequent models more than older iPhone users do," it writes. "At the same time, they seem to be more prepared for the monthly expense of paying off a newer iPhone, and more aware of the value in trading in a relatively newer model to help reduce that acquisition cost."