‘Upgrade Armageddon’ as iPhone 4 Users’ Contracts End

The Apple iPhone 4 launched almost two years ago, leaving thousands of users with just weeks before they are free to upgrade.

The sources, familiar with the matter, have recently revealed that 300,000 iPhone 4 users will be eligible to upgrade their mobile phone this month, more than any other month in the last two years. Photo: Miłosz Bolechowski/Flickr

The surge, which was dubbed as ‘upgrade armageddon’, comes in part as many iPhone owners who signed two-year contracts when the release of the Apple’s device will be free to switch tariffs soon.

Despite Samsung Galaxy S3 handset’s domination in Android sales, Apple customers are, however, belived to stay loyal to the brand, writes The Telegraph.

According to retailed sources, iPhone fans ‘will still change handsets or expect to renegotiate their contract and keep their existing phone.’

Android sales in the UK have reached 8.4 per cent, but Apple managed to hold its ground, thanks to decline in BlackBerry sales, and overall iOS has risen 5.4 per cent as well.

The latest data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that for the first time Google Android has taken at least half of smartphone sales across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, US and Australia.

The next generation Apple’s profuct is due to release in October, and millions of potential buyers are expected to hold off upgrading until details of the upcoming device are confirmed. Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 is also expected next mid Fall.

According to Carphone Warehouse, each mobile user loses up to £194 being on the wrong tariff, while renegotiating could save users a combined £58 million. A free Bill Angel app has been already launched to help consumers track tariff usage in real time.

Graham Stapleton, Chief Operating Officer at Carphone Warehouse, explained:” “People assume that being loyal to one network will reap rewards and get them the best deals or discounts.”

He continued: “However, this often isn’t the case and Brits are wasting millions by not checking out the other networks and ultimately choosing the wrong tariffs for them.”

Meanwhile the Cupertino-based company is facing waves of critics following its decision to quit the environmental ratings. However, Apple has rejoined it, a week after quitting the programme.

iPhone and iPad maker published a letter on its site admitting that the move had been “a mistake” after many of its customers had complained, reports BBC.

“We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system,” wrote Bob Mansfield.

“I recognise that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.”

Mr Mansfield added that the company believed it made the industry’s “most environmentally responsible products” and suggested that the firm would now work with EPEAT to “evolve” its rating system.

EPEAT’s chief executive, Robert Frisbee, welcomed the news of the Apple’s return.

“We look forward to Apple’s strong and creative thoughts on ongoing standards development,” he commented on the news.

“The outcome must reward new directions for both design and sustainability, simultaneously supporting the environment and the market for all manufacturers’ elegant and high-performance products.”

However, experts don’t see that Apple’s policy reversal had been motivated by fears consumers would turn to its rivals.

“Even if Apple had not reversed the ban I think it wouldn’t have harmed its business,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, senior analyst at Forrester.

“Ever since Tim Cook took control of Apple there has been extra emphasis on sustainability and transparency,” the expert continued.

“So its decision to comply with the EPEAT standard probably has more to do with corporate mission than a fear of losing sales.”

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