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Mobile upgrade cycles will stretch to 33 months by next year

By Shawn Knight ยท 11 replies
Mar 1, 2018
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  1. Market saturation and disinterest due to slowed innovation are just a few of the many hurdles plaguing the smartphone industry. As The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted, slumping sales can also be attributed to the fact that older devices are remaining popular for longer than anticipated.

    According to data from BayStreet Research, the average upgrade cycle has grown from 23 months in 2014 to 31 months today. By next year, the figure is expected to climb to 33 months.

    A number of factors are contributing to consumers’ decisions to increasingly refrain from buying new devices. Many have turned their noses up at $1,000 flagships, instead opting for cheaper mid-range devices or refurbished phones that were top-of-the-line just a year or two earlier.

    Two-year contracts, once a staple in the wireless industry, are now nearly extinct, having been replaced by plans that allow for more frequent upgrades albeit without a subsidy.

    Major players like Apple and Samsung still have a vested interest in the refurbished or used smartphone market. While they may not make much money from the resale of such devices, it’s important to remember that even second-hand mobile devices connect to app stores and facilitate the purchase and use of streaming subscriptions.

    Some are even helping to breathe new life into older devices. Samsung announced an upcycling initiative late last year that involves stripping older Galaxy devices of their Android operating system to make way for a new OS that can be used for all sorts of tasks. One user, for example, created a Bitcoin mining cluster out of 40 old Galaxy S5 handsets.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Good news.
  3. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 219   +139

    It's like TechSpot needs to squeeze as many Bitcoin mentions as they can.

    Anyway, the sales will slowdown, until the public accepts these higher prices as a norm.

    I remember around 3 years ago listening to this woman about how she doesn't have a pot to piss me, while understanding how very horrible her job was. I felt a lot of sympathy, until a few hours later she started going through the initial planning of getting the latest iPhone that was coming out in a couple of days.
    Boilerhog146 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  4. get your priorities straight man! At this point I'm just happy my taxes aren't subsidizing her phone purchase through 'social entitlements' (you did say she had a job).
    p51d007 likes this.
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +352

    Good, there was a point in time when most people used there phone until it stopped working.
  6. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 293   +67

    Or they upgraded every two year because the phone was subsidized... that's what I did in the mid 2000's, every time my contract was up, please give me a brand new shiny phone for $100.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,724

    I'm surprised, given how well the $1200 iphone x sold, that so many consumers are being more responsible with mobile devices.

    But, is it because they are more responsible, or is it simply because they are no longer getting the cost hidden by a contract?

    The dacia sandero?
  8. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +352

    I'm prepaid so never had subsidized (granted some are doing it now) closest thing to subsidized I would do was get it from HSN's website so I could do 4 or 5 payments, usually the cheapest place to get a tracfone and you can spread out the payments which was nice when I was a teen.
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,893   +1,168

    I never buy a new (model) phone when released, but wait until another new phone is released, then buy last years model, typically 1/2 the price (android). Nothing against apple, but I prefer the android ecosystem.
    Running an MVNO, the money I save over what would be the old 2 year contract, more than pays if I want to buy a new phone every couple years. I usually keep them 2 years anyway, then sell/give them to someone.
  10. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 268   +174

    There were no smartphones in the mid 2000s. Different world back then bruh. As long as the phone phoned and could send SMSs thats all u needed back then.
  11. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +352

    hmm my smartphone from 2003 says you are wrong....

  12. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 293   +67

    It wasn't a matter of smartphone or not... it was a matter of subsidized phones.

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