Branding Effects on Smartphone Life Cycle
A study has shown that the branding on a smartphone directly impacts the lifespan of the phone more than repairability or hardware. The study was performed by a doctoral student at Yale University. The focus was on the top two brands in the industry, Apple and Samsung. In a nutshell, the study showed that consumers replace their cell phones well before that stop working properly.
The research also looked at the growing used device market to try and gain a better understanding of this phenomena. It reviewed how long various smartphones remained in use after they were bought from the original owner. To do this, the study used statistics from eBay listings for the top devices from the two manufacturers. The conclusion was that the perceived retention value and number of sales was directly influenced by the brand name.
Samsung showed an economic life of about 4.5 years. Apple came in better with an even longer lifecycle at about 5.5 years showing it has a greater perceived. Users hold on to an Apple phone for a longer period of time on average.
The manufacturers of smartphones have been underhanded regarding the rate at which users upgrade their devices. Of course, they are motivated by the fact that they are in the business to sell more phones. Currently, the statistics show that users upgrade their device about once a year for every flagship Android device. These companies use “hype” marketing techniques to convince cell phone owners to swap in their older model with the latest and greatest. Considering that smartphone over-usage is considered a disease in some countries, you have a very easy market to penetrate.
The upgrade cycle for mobile phone service providers is not much different. Studies show that, depending on their contract, users upgrade somewhere between 1.5 and 2 years. In many cases, the new smartphones do offer big improvements. However, the average user will not even notice these or use the added features of the new phone. Again, we see how marketing techniques are being used to convince people to buy something they don’t really need.
It is clear from the statistics and the study mentioned earlier that the brand is as important as the hardware specifications of cell phones. Given the strategies of top manufacturers like Samsung, other manufacturers are focusing more and more on same marketing strategies. Brand awareness is as critical as producing a new and improved product.
Bottom line – don’t be duped into replacing your phone just because it is the latest and greatest. As you can see, most of the time the added features are not even used. If your phone is in some need of repair, you are often better off just getting it fixed. Don’t victim of advertising hype to upgrade and get a free quote from Rob the Phone Doctor. You will be making the wise decision!