To me what’s incredibly surprising is the enduring success of premium phones in general, and Apple in particular, given a) how little most people do with their phones and b) the vanishingly small difference between premium and good midrange.
I’m the nerd of my tribe, and I’m perfectly happy with a $180 Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro (actually, its $75 more expensive phablet variant: dual A72, 4GB+128 GB+SD to the smaller’s 3+32+SD, everything good to excellent: battery life, sound, camera, touchID, looks, performance… but at 6.44" I wouldn’t recommend it to the general public, the 5.5" Note 3 Pro is the exact same, only smaller). That’s about the price of.. one year of iPhone Apple Care….
My brother moved off iPhones after one too many broken screen, but went for a Galaxy S7, which is the same concept. He does need to feed the extended family with plenty of pics of the kids though, and that’s the most legit reason to go premium that I can think of. I’m sure there are others (music creation, ecosystem lock-in, …) but in my experience those are a small minority.
Most users of premium phones barely do anything with theirs. Some around me won’t let go of their 8GB iPhones even though an handful of pictures fill them up… That’s actually counterproductive premium, they’d be better served by a modern midranger, or last year’s flagship (which in Androidland is 50% off debut price, so usually a good deal, even for photographers).