My uni roommate used the first colour screen Apple iPod - 4th gen, with 20 gigs of memory, bought in 2005 - in 2013. And he still uses it in 2017. He stepped on it in 2011 so half the screen is dead but it works 100% alright and the click wheel is as smooth as it could have been in 2005.
Do you think anyone on this planet would be using the iPhone 7 in 2029? No. I'd be surprised to see someone use one in 2019, forget 2029.
So, is Apple cheating its newer customers out of good quality products? As much as I do not like Apple and its pricing and draconian Mac ecosystem, the short answer is NO. And there are a number of reasons this is so.
First off, they're giving what the customers want - a new flashy phone to show off as the "latest" product in town. I mean come on, bar the headphone jack debacle (waterproofing), what's oh-so-special about iPhone 7 that wasn't there in the 6S? You'd be hard pressed to find actual performance leaps between Galaxy S4 and S5, just as there is little to no improvement between i5 6th gen and the Kaby Lake processors unless you go into the super high spec $1500 ones. In all of these products, the hardware improvement is barely keeping pace with the expanding software loads. But consumers want "new" stuff so the corporate gives them that.
With this "staying up to the trend" mentality, putting in the dollars and hours to build a durable product suddenly becomes an effort in futility, because no one in their right mind is going to use it for more than 2-2.5 years. The likes of me and you (I too use an 8 year old iTouch 2nd gen) who see durability as a virtue are a dying breed, and definitely a breed too small for the giants to take care of. Durability in itself is getting obsolete.
Apart from that, try to look back to the smartphone market when iPhone 2 came out. Or the PC market when Mac OS was released. There was little competition, and so, Apple could charge you what it wanted because it was the only proven working trick in the town. Fast forward to 2017, competition is brutal and pricing wars are cut throat. Sure, Apple still remains a premium product line but it sure has to cut corners to stay competitive and keep its margins.
And over and above all of this, there's the simple rule of "the more complicated it is, the more delicate it is." A pneumatic drill is infinitely more susceptible to breakdown as opposed to a hammer and nail. The ultra light super thin iPhone 7 with 4g, a camera, a thin battery, touchscreen and a bazillion other swanky features is going to be terribly short lived compared to its predecessor from 2010.
When you sum it all up, you'll see that it's not just Apple, but all tech companies - from Intel to Samsung to Dell - who are sacrificing durability for the sake of novelty, which is not so much by a global conspiracy but a result of hyper-consumerism. One big exception to this trend, in my opinion, is Sony. Yes their stuff costs more but boy does it last! My bravia is going strong since 6 years. My dad uses the rather thoughtlessly names Xperia C4 since 2 years now and despite all the apps being much heavier than 2015, still runs like a charm. I know a couple people using the same Sony Vaio PC since 2011. Alas, as Sony is not giving in to the durability reducing trends, it's exiting low cost markets and costing down verticals. Apple is seeing its biggest growths in these same markets. Say a lot about the consumers, doesn't it?
The cords on the other hand are definitely a swindle. I know a guy who has separate chargers for travel and home and the two wore out in a year, within a month of each other. It is nothing short of criminal that these exorbitantly priced lightning cables have such short life spans. If the USB cable which came with my $150 ASUS phone can travel with me everyday for over a year, without a hitch, I'm sure Apple can do better job with cords costing half of my phone.