iPhone 6 Upgrades Cause Replacement Cycle to Slow Down: CIRP

Apple has set the bar higher than ever with its Q1 2015 earnings report: 74.5 million iPhones sold. Now, if we are to believe the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) numbers, the iPhone 6 accounted for about 75% of all iPhone sales in the US. While this is nice to hear, investors and market analysts are interested in something else: what’s next for the iPhone?

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In terms of retailing terms, during the holiday quarter, US iPhone buyers “filled the pantry,” says CIRP’s co-founder Michael Levin. He sent the above chart to Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt pointing to stats put together by his market research firm: (1) 72% of US iPhone owners have a device that is less than 1.5 years old, (2) repeat customers accounted for 86% of iPhone activations, and (3) 30% of the purchased devices were financed.

Looking forward, Levin highlights the challenges Apple faces because of the iPhone: “For Apple to sell a lot of phones in a year or two, they’re going to have to come up with some unbelievable innovation,” he says.

“Apple and Android are just picking off each others customers now, and they’re picking off customers who are increasingly loyal,” Levin says.

The CIRP study also highlights that Apple may lose ground among first-time buyers, but the company is building a very loyal customer base.