For a number of years, consumers worldwide have jumped on virtually every smartphone upgrade release.  It didn't matter if was Samsung's Galaxy or the apple 4 or 4S, people literally waited in line for each product enhancement.  That cycle is slowing and this is undoubtedly going to impact phone manufacturers.  In particular, apple.

In the latest BusinessInsider Intelligence report, they reveal that the sales cycle of a smartphone upgrade is now 22 months.  This cycle slowdown is not necessarily bad news for Google in that they have search and other revenue generating products, but the majority of apple's revenue comes from their phone division.  The pressure is constantly on them to product phones that consumers want to buy now; phones that are substantially better than their predecessors.

But, more than just apple and Google are impacted by the slower cycle.  Carriers (Verizon, at&t, etc) rely on upgrades to sell upgrades of their own.  They make money on data packages, so they need upgrade sales to drive people to their stores and to review their accounts.

The challenge for Google, as pointed out by the article, is getting people to update their operating system.  It has been a struggle at times for Google to get users to adopt software upgrades.

And of course, app developers want people to upgrade phones and operating systems so that they can take advantage of the latest technology, upgrade their own products and sell more apps.

It's clear that the smartphone ecosystem is an interconnected one; one which very heavily relies on new technology and updates to drive sales to everyone.  The challenge is to find new features for phones that are already feature heavy.