In my opinion, I see it as a reaction to the mediocrity of most Chinese Android smartphones that flood the market, which all look the same and are painful to use.
I’m not saying that these smartphones are bad, just not terrible, really “mediocre”. And their surge on the market contributes to giving Android a bad image, in addition to paradoxically limiting the choice! Smaller manufacturers, but who provided better software and hardware (LG and Sony for example) did not resist and either completely disappeared, or offered models that were too expensive and nested to avoid fighting on the same front. (for example Sonys with a narrow gauge and a very classic design).
Even I asked myself the question if I was going to take an iPhone or not for my next device, while I am completely outside the Apple ecosystem.
It is typically the reflection that I am made and which pushed me to buy an iPhone.
The fact of wanting a stable smartphone that can be used for years, with a known and proven follow-up (we are talking about +7 years of guaranteed update anyway), quality after-sales service all over the world, and above all at the same price as an Android flagship whose software monitoring or the quality of the hardware leaves something to be desired as soon as we start comparing.
On top of that, on the latest iPhones the battery has become so good that no Android can compete (and that puts an end to the famous “yes, but an iPhone doesn’t last all day”), the new cocktail makes that we are clearly on a total advantage for Apple!
For my part, my next device will most likely be a Pixel (surely the 7, maybe the 6a depending on my money). Pretty much for the same reasons as you, the software guaranteed for 5 years in safety, a well-known device and not too complicated to repair (especially to find spare parts), and overall a high-performance smartphone over the long term. As a bonus, I’m very tinkering and I can install a ROM of my choice or change a defective battery with my little fingers, that suits me fine.
Since the Pixel 6 line, I find Pixels to be good alternatives to iPhones; not perfect, but good. Besides, this is the first time that Google has sold so many, which is a good sign for them.
My current smartphone is almost 5 years old, it was a low-mid range at the time, and if I hadn’t changed its battery it would have died after 3 years. more and more heavy apps, I hope it will last another 6 months while waiting for the Pixel 7.