I think most consumers do feel Apple has the best quality, or at least quality equal to any competitors in design and quality. (neckbeards may not, but the 99% do)
The phone market is going where the PC market did. The smartphone market is mature. The tech has exceeded for the moment our ability and the networks' ability to utilize it.
There are few reasons to upgrade your phone year to year, as there once were.
(One wonders if the thinner/lighter trend and the trend of putting slick curved edges on these dainty phones isn't intended to create more replacement buyers...)
(along with the "you can't replace your battery so you have to buy a new phone when the battery life deteriorates" trend)
In any case, compelling new features are few and far between. I used to replace every 2 years or so consistently, but I don't see any reason to replace mine soon as long as the battery holds up.