The things that would get me to change: significant better performance in a competing product, or diminished functionality with my existing gadget.
On another note:
Ive tried the beta, and I know its going to be different from the final release. But Ive seen some of the features that I love and objectively speaking, I for one am not going to upgrade my devices anymore =( while the features are great, Im too used to and prefer the older layouts and the color scheme. While very superficial, the reason I got an iPhone years ago is because i loved the stock apps on my iTouch (both look and function); the keyboard and dialer are what truly on me over. Im just wondering if this is the end of iOS devices for me altogether. Maybe Ill get back into it after iOS 12 or whenever the next major redesign is. But the weird thing is, it just doesnt upset me anymore \(o.o)/, i can live with my iPad mini and iPhone 5 as they are.
Android offers a huge range of customization, so looks and function are available.
You're right that looks sway many buyers -- that's one thing that Apple haters have consistently harped on -- they say Apple fans are swayed by packaging and marketing.
For me, ease of use is tops; looks come in far second when it comes to tools. I actually find Android messier looking on my Samsung Galaxy Note (compared with iPhone), but it offers me function, and I don't bother customizing.
The big problem is change simply for change. When done without a purpose or need (like bug removal, improvements, new features etc or to take advantage of advances in hardware) you get some really bad results as most times these are run by marketing teams or someone looking to put their name into the books.
Jonathan Ive is widely credited with driving the redesign. He's not someone who needs to establish his credentials; he's already got people loving him worldwide. If he's responsible, I figure it's because he prefers the new look, period. From what I've read previously, he and others at the company never liked skeuomorphism. Once Steve Jobs was gone, change was afoot. That's simply a matter of taste.
For my preferences, I find Windows' flat designs by far the most appealing of the bunch in phones, but I will never buy a gadget with looks as a priority.
iPad 2 ~ Wi-Fi ~ 32 GB | MacBook Air 13-inch 4 GB RAM/128 GB | Apple TV (3rd Gen) | iPod Classic 80 GB | iPod Touch 32 GB (4th Gen)