iPhone users planning to replace their phones annually dropped from 27.8 percent to 16.0 percent over last year (in Chinese), according to a report from the research unit of Tencent Penguin Intelligence.

The same figure for Android users suffered a similar plunge from 34.7 percent to 23.5 percent, but still on a higher replacement rate than iPhones.

Even though Chinese smartphone market is quickly nearing its saturation point, it still constitutes a significant driver for the global market as an active replacement market.

But as the landscape continues to evolve, the new driving force in smartphone replacement is losing momentum while Chinese users are replacing their smartphones less frequently.

Although this is a general trend in China’s smartphone industry, the feeling is especially strong among iPhone users given it’s usually pricier and sturdier.

In a sense, this is good news for Apple which enjoys a better reputation as a more sustainable gadget.

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