You provide them money for more research in this way. So more iPhone people will buy, more money will apple have for research. Same thing with all the producers.
In this moment, there is not such a thing as a bad or good smartphone. Think outside the box little. There are insignificant differences between all top smartphones of the top producers. You know who they are because you gave them most of your money in last 15 years. More are coming, many got lost on the way, but the principle is the same as always. You get what you pay. try always to buy a top model from all producers and you will be fine. If you are a little short on the budget, just buy the top model before the last one instead of going with a lower budget model.
Like always I can only advice you to stay away from iPhone. My opinion is that they still are overpriced. You pay more for the brand. Most of people like to have an overpriced phone anyway, because their friend have one as well. You don't have to know many things about technology. You are fine with an iPhone as well, but me one, I don't have that much money to trow so, I prefer to buy a smartphone that is doing even more then iPhone, camera, gaming, battery, for a half price. Do not get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that iPhone are bad. No! They are good! They are just overpriced usually. Try better a Microsoft phone. Much cheaper and it can do away more than an iPhone. Or some of the new companies on the market. They are making good smartphones, with good materials, but not famous name. That's it.
So every phone you will buy in 2017, you will be just fine as long as you will buy a top phone. It doesn't have to be the last top release, it can be few models behind, but a top.