It happens every time, and hopefully Apple is prepared. When a great product is introduced, other companies copy it until it becomes a commodity. The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL look pretty good. And it's no longer difficult to exceed Apple's features here and there.
As time goes on, these feature phones are going to come down in price rapidly. The phones will be able to connect to large monitors in the office and replace our PCs. But now the only question is, "Who first?" I'm confident Apple will be first. The problem is that it only takes the other companies less than a year to be second.
I'm glad Apple started playing with higher end products with the watch. That could be a good way to keep their products on the high end. But it's going to take some work. Next year's phones are going to have to do quite a bit more to attract buyers.