According to Bloomberg, wireless customers aren't exactly rushing to buy new phones, which is bad for the companies that put them out. To back that up AT&T and Verizon stated that their upgrade rate dropped to a record low this past quarter.
The cause of this development appears to be high prices (a.k.a. 1000 bucks) for phones with modest improvements and also speculation that potential buyers are holding out until they hear more about 5G networks, which aren't set to be seen until next year.
“Incremental changes from one model to the next, hasn’t been that great, and it hasn’t been enough of an incentive,” said Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis during a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg that came after Verizon reported the news.
This current course is an industry-wide problem, for carriers and hardware manufacturers, as Apple has also seen their iPhone sales drop in several large markets.
Reuters adds that the trend began almost five years ago when companies stopped giving out massive discounts for their phones in order to get you to sign up for those two-year plans. Instead that model was replaced with installment payments for phones that could run you up to a grand. A large chunk of iPhone buyers also remarked that the design peaked with the iPhone 6 (released in 2014) which discouraged them from going beyond that.