Re: Who needs analysts?
Once people get sick of paying well over the odds for average technology then paying even more for Apple care then they will be finished. That day isn't too far away.
Never underestimate the power of a well managed brand. You may sneer, but since the start of modern times people have been paying more than they need to to buy products under brand names like Persil, Fairy, Gillette, Coca Cola, L'Oreal, Duracell, Audi, Moet, Walkers, and almost any single malt you care to name. Why? Because they believe that they are getting something better than a commodity item or "lesser" brands.
I'll wager that somewhere in your life you buy branded products that others would sneer at. In phone terms I see a handset as a commodity, and I usually buy AOSP phones of a large Chinese maker. As a regular tipple I'll buy a decent whisky blend. But on special occasions I'll splash out on recognised single malt.
At times, the experience of fondling premium packaging alone is worth it, or when you want to show friends that you choose to offer them a premium product. But at the end of the day, most rational buyers are better off with a well made blend, and blind tasting shows that is what most people prefer.
I can see Apple topping out certainly. Just don't expect so see Apple "finished" anytime in the next few decades.