I've got a few months to go until I'm eligible for an upgrade from my S4, so I've been shopping around an I even contemplated buying my contract out early if I found the right phone.
Unfortunately instead I've discovered that using the iPhone 6 release as a cover all of the UK operators that I checked have slowly increased their contract prices for all flagships.
While the price hike isn't as sharp as the increase they've put on the 6 and 6+ from the prices they released the iPhone 5S at (between roughly 7 and 10 pounds a month more plus 100 quid down for the handset) the increase is still noticeable.
My prediction is Samsung, Sony and HTC will continue to lose heavily. At these rip off contract prices the handsets just aren't worth it and don't seem to have the appeal that an Apple device would.
My next contract is now going to be sim only, so if I'm buying an Android contract free why pay the prices Sony and Samsung charge for the handset (as good as they are compared to the TCO of a contract) when I can get something like the OnePlusOne for half the price? The networks in the UK have simply got too greedy and that will have a knock on effect to handset makers. More and more people will switch to upgrading every 3 years rather than 2 or less.