Upgrade rate slows by 33 percent as we hold onto our iPhones ever longer

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iPhone 6s
With people keeping their phones so long, a typical device getting replaced these days is the iPhone 6s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The days when people bought a new iPhone every two years are over, according to an industry analyst. In fact, many people are holding on to their handsets for twice that long.

That’s bad news for Apple’s bottom line, as faster upgrades mean more profits.

Apple staffing up its streaming video service

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Apple TV service facing competition
The rumored Apple TV streaming service for Mac, iPhone, etc. needs people to run it. People who Apple might be hiring already.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is hiring in its media group devoted to audiovisual media. After digging through the company’s job openings in recent months, an analyst believes these new employees are for the anticipated Apple TV streaming service.

This company has been paying to have TV shows and movies produced for months, but has so far kept quiet about its plans. That’s expected to change soon.

Now is the time to buy Apple stock

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money
Buying Apple shares now could earn you quite a bit of money this year, according to Morgan Stanley.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been thinking about investing in Apple stock, an analyst from Morgan Stanley says this is to time to do so. The price is already low, and not likely to go any lower.

There’s been bad news for Apple recently but that’s already priced into the stock.

Apple may hit the brakes on autonomous vehicle program

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Project Titan
Apple’s test vehicles from its self-driving car project could be headed for the highway exit.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple’s self-driving car development could be headed for a cliff. Maybe. A questionable report from industry analysts says that there are layoffs in this division and the whole project might even be scrapped.

The cause is supposedly the slowdown in iPhone sales caused by the weakening Chinese economy. The reduction in revenue leaves less room for non-core programs.

AirPods could someday replace your Apple Watch

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airpods
Ear-worn devices like these AirPods could become the most-used type of wearable.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

Smart watches are currently the most popular form of wearable, but ear-worn devices are expected to replace them in the coming years. The changeover will take place as AirPods and similar products gain additional features that people now get from Apple Watch and iPhone.

In less than five years, so-called “hearables” could outsell every other type of  wearable by a wide margin.

iPhone XS first week sales solidly outpace iPhone 8

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iPhone XS box gold
People around the world snapped up the iPhone XS models more quickly than they did the iPhone 8 series last year.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS and XS Max debuted last month, and some versions sold out almost immediately. But that doesn’t automatically mean they’re a huge hit. Still there’s new evideance that sales are strong.

Drawing on data compiled from over 1 million mobile apps, an analyst says that, during the first week they were available, Apple’s XS series outsold last year’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus by 45 percent.

iPhone XS Max vastly outsells smaller XS

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iPhone Xs
The iPhone XS Max is Apple's best selling model by a wide margin.
Photo: Apple

When it comes to iPhones, it appears bigger is much better. The iPhone XS series debuted on Friday, and a respected analyst reports the larger of the two is selling far, far better than its smaller sibling.

The analyst also reports that the new Apple Watch Series 4 is selling better than he expected.

Small phone screens go the way of the dodo

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iphone screen2
In just a few years this 4.7-inch iPhone screen will be considered tiny.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 8 display is 4.7 inches. Over the next few years, phone screen sizes are expected to grow to the point that only a tiny fraction will be that small.

Fortunately, it appears Apple is keeping up with the trend. In fact, it could be argued that the iPhone started it.

Apple Pay usage grows strongly outside the U.S.

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Apple Pay iPhone
The number of Apple Pay users almost equals the entire population of the US. But most users live somewhere else.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Most people are still leery about giving up their wallet. Only a small percentage of smartphone owners use their mobile to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.  But attitudes are starting to change.

As a result, Apple Pay is growing strongly. Surprisingly, most of that growth is outside of the U.S.