Facepalm: Even in today’s age of amazing gadgets, it’s worth remembering that not everyone is a techie. It’s a point illustrated by a recent survey, in which many iPhone owners struggled to identify their own device, and a large percent believed their handset is 5G capable—a feature no iPhone currently possess.
The survey carried out by Decluttr, which buys and sells electronic items such as phones, tablets, and wearables, aims to find out if Americans really know what smartphone they’re buying and its capabilities.
The majority of participants reported that they had upgraded to a new handset within the last year, the most popular reason being that their current device was broken (31 percent), followed by the need to have a faster phone (26 percent). And while 43 percent spent more than $500 on a newer smartphone, 86 percent felt it was worth the money.
It seems many people struggle to identify their own phone—at least from a picture. When shown an image of their device next to another from the same manufacturer, just 44 percent of iPhone XR and iPhone 7 owners could spot their own model. This was followed by the iPhone 8 (45.9 percent), iPhone X (51 percent), and iPhone XS (57 percent). Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ fared best, with 71.32 percent of people correctly identifying it, but even S7 (57.64 percent) and S8 (58.43 percent) owners struggled to pick out their handsets.
In fairness, recent phones, especially those that come from the same manufacture, do share many design similarities and aren’t always easy to identify from a photo. But the lack of awareness of their phones’ capabilities is more surprising: Only 40 percent of Galaxy S7, S8, and S9 owners are aware of the devices' wireless charging function, while just 14 percent of iPhone X, XS, and XR owners knew about their NFC-capabilities.
While 5G is the current industry buzzword, many consumers are still confused about the technology. Based on what network carriers they used, iPhone owners who believe their device is 5G-capable range from 24 percent (Verizon) to 47 percent (AT&T). Apple, of course, is one company that still hasn’t brought out a 5G device. Samsung owners scored higher, but the Korean firm does have the Galaxy S10 5G, so some of the replies may have been correct. Additionally, 62 percent of people said they noticed improvements to their mobile service while using a 5G network, despite the few areas with coverage and the fact many respondents' phones probably aren’t 5G-capable.
Decluttr questioned 2,000 US consumers aged 18 and over for the survey.