“It allows people with the iPhone 4 or 5 to get all the benefits of the Apple environment from a software standpoint and therefore reduces the absolute need to upgrade the physical device,” he said.
The free upgrade helps Apple solidify its user base, the analyst said, even for those unwilling to buy a new device.
“It makes it attractive to stay in the walled garden of Apple,” Purdy said, even without a revolutionary hardware change. “This allows Apple to keep its users, though it may not change the direction of the Android ecosystem, but Apple isn’t out to win market share. They want to produce the best products in the market and they’re doing a good job at that.”