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Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Mark Holtz, May 18, 2019.
From The Verge:
Three big reasons why Americans aren’t upgrading their phones
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Hmmmm..... and here I thought mobile phone sales were slowing because customers are finding that their present mobile phones are working quite fine, and they don't need to upgrade every two years. I know that the last phone I purchased was a Google Pixel 3, and that was an upgrade from my Galaxy S8. Why the upgrade? My mother's S5 was having issues, so I gave her my S8 and got a new phone. Otherwise, I would not have upgraded.
Mobile technology has pretty much matured to the point where it performs fast enough for everyday use. (Making calls, facetime/skype, taking pictures, browsing internet, social media, streaming on the go, etc) For that kind of use the current LTE networks are fast enough, so even if you live in a city where "5G" is being deployed, that won't be enough of a reason for the average user to upgrade to a new model. Now if you're someone who plays CPU and GPU intensive mobile games, you might have a reason to upgrade more often.
Unless other manufacturers start pulling Apple's throttling stunts and other crap (i.e. putting in a killswitch so you have no choice but to pay Apple if you want the battery replaced), most people have no reason to upgrade until their phone dies or forced obsoletion hits where their phone no longer gets OS updates, and their favorite app is no longer supported on their model. Although thanks to alternative OS's like LineageOS older phones can still get updated to newer versions of Android long after their manufacturer or carrier decided to stop supporting it.
I just traded a Samsung Note 4 for a Galaxy S10+. The Note 4 was almost 5 years old and had been wonky for some time. Holding on to the Note 4 was an act of stupidity on my part, that thing was damn near dead.
I’m still using a five year old iPhone 6 from 2014. If it ain’t broke......
People have more important things to worry about and pay then getting the latest and greatest jacked up phone. They cost too much as is...Priorities over luxuries!
I honestly think the carriers ending the subsidies is one of the biggest reasons for the change. Back when you would pay a one time fee of $250 and get a new phone as long as you stayed with your carrier for two years it was attractive. But now the phones have gotten so expensive that it is really hard to justify paying an extra $30 (or more) per month just to have a new phone on their payment plan scheme.
I'm still using my iPhone 6S Plus I purchased many years ago (just had the battery replaced by a local repair shop last month and it works better than ever!). I'm holding out on any upgrades now because of the move to 5G. So long as my phone keeps working I'll hold onto it another year or two until that technology makes it to the iPhone and then upgrade.
Lets see here.... what apps do I use on a regular basis on my phone:
Two Factor Authenication apps
Audible (for Audiobooks)
Two factor authentication apps
A work communications tool
Banking app with my credit union
Facebook and Twitter
Most of the phones that have come out in the past few years are more than capable of handling these apps.
The remanufactured LG Stylo 3 I bought from Tracfone for $65 a couple of years ago does everything I need it to do, including finding the best aiming locations for my portable dish. It uses Verizon's towers and my average cost is about $16/month. Combined with my unlimited data AT&T and Verizon hotspots, I can make unlimited VOIP calls using no phone minutes. The phone also has its own hotspot capability, but at $10 per additional GB I don't use it for anything but the simplest Internet chores. I'm in no hurry to upgrade to a $1,000 phone...
My microwave oven gets more usage than my cell phone. No need for me to upgrade frequently.
The only reason I upgraded my 4 year old phone recently was due to a toilet mishape.
My Note 4 was unusable. I had no choice.
Must be an interesting story here...
Camera, screen size and quality. The only big reasons to upgrade if yours is only a year or so old anymore.
I place the operational life of a mobile smartphone at around three years. Although, I had financially-challenged friend who was very grateful I sent him my LG G3 about a year or so ago. That phone was just sitting on my shelf as a standby phone in case something happened with my mother's or my smartphone, and I needed to perform a quick swap out.
Of course, if you have a phone that doesn't receive regular security updates anymore, it may be a good excuse to upgrade. My Pixel 3 phone should continue to receive system updates until October, 2021.
Yup, way too much money to upgrade every year. But holding on to my phone for five years wasn't smart. By the time I got rid of it I was restarting it several times a day.
My wife bought an iPhone a few months before I bought the Note 4. Her iPhone was working a lot better than my Note 4 before I got rid of it. Think that says a lot about the quality of Apple phones. Didn't stop me from buying another Galaxy, tho, better the devil you know...
Technologies mature. If you bought a new car in 1955 and then again in 1965, the new one was better. New things had been invented that the new one would do that the old one wouldn't. But if you traded the 65 for a 75, it was just new. It wasn't better. Just new. Since phones do not really have wear parts like cars do, why would anyone but the most techno-geeky ever trade?
The business plan for the phone manufacturers, thus, have to adjust their business model. They have predicated upon a large number of people trading (or in many cases, de facto trashing) phones every year. That is ending.
What do you actually expect your 2025 phone to do that the current one does not?
While phones do not have wear parts, they do have screens that can crack. Lord knows how many times I dropped or knocked my phone to the floor, and I have a "armor case" to protect my phone.
Since smart phones are essentially portable computers that are more powerful and more graphics capable than computers from years ago, they are also subject to software and firmware upgrades to patch software defects and security holes. However, there is a limited time from the device release when the manufacturer will offer updates. The company I work for even establishes a baseline of devices that it will allow on the network, including minimum Android version.
What do I expect my 2025 to do that my Pixel 3 doesn't? Improvements in the battery life, more efficient processor, increased storage capacity. Not worth upgrading my phone every year, but every three? Yes, I'll notice the difference then.
Trade in a 4-5 year old phone for a brand new one and tell me that. Trade in a 5 year old laptop for a new one and tell me that. I just did both and the new devices are so much better. That's not an opinion. I made a mistake by waiting so long. That's not an opinion either.