A recent analyst report from UBS suggest that carriers are seeing fewer and fewer people upgrading their smartphones. The rate at which people upgrade their phone has been on a declining trend over the last few years in the United States. Last year saw the number of people who upgrade actually decline by 9%. UBS is forecasting a decline this year too.
Two reasons are cited for this trend. The first is the obvious point, that smartphone penetration is now pretty high in developed markets, there’s less and less people to upgrade from feature phones. The second point is that as the pace of smartphone innovation slows, there is less impetus for people to upgrade from older smartphones. People are simply not seeing the ‘wow’ factor in the current generation of smartphones to warrant an upgrade.
Reading the report reminded us of a post we wrote last October, where we posed the question: “Is smartphone technology ‘good enough’ already?” The idea being that given the advancements in smartphone tech, what new features on the horizon will really drive people to upgrade their handsets? For the functions that most consumers use their handset for, are the arguably small incremental upgrades each year enough to persuade people to ditch their older mobiles?
Yes, chipsets will continue to get more powerful with faster processors and more powerful graphics, but outside of the hardcore enthusiasts, who will this really excite? We already have some stunning handsets in the market, the Xperia Z being one of them along with the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5. The tech behind these are becoming powerful enough that these will still be perfectly viable phones in two years time.
This is not the early days of Android, where each iteration of phone brought a tangible improvement to the mobile experience. Android has matured and so has the technology behind it. So the question we are asking you today is, have smartphones lost their lustre?
Are you eagerly awaiting the next best thing in the Xperia or wider smartphone space? Or taking a step back, do you realise that what you have now is indeed good enough for your needs? If so, what will it take for you to be truly excited about smartphones again? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Smartphone Upgrades: Where’s the ‘Wow’ Factor? [Video]
Via Wall Street Journal.