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Smartphone Epidemic: Why Cheap Smartphones are Sweeping the Globe and Growing in Popularity

Posted In Smartphone reviews - By Techtiplib on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 With No Comments »

When smartphones make headlines, they tend to do so because one of the leading manufacturers has released a new, expensive flagship model with excellent new features. That’s not the only big thing going on in the smartphone world, however. For every flagship device that’s developed and released to much fanfare, scores of low-end devices are being bought by consumers all around the world. These devices account for a majority of those used by Android users, and a significant portion of the iPhones in use by consumers internationally. There are some key reasons for the proliferation of these devices in virtually all countries where smartphones are sold.

Smartphone Epidemic

Mobile Devices Are Not Subsidized Outside the United States 

The United States has long subsidized mobile devices, requiring consumers to pay between $0 and $400 for a phone that might cost between $400 and $900 at full retail price. Though this practice is slowly going away in the U.S., it’s one that never really existed across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

In those countries, consumers have long been responsible for the full, up-front cost of any device used in conjunction with their mobile service plan. There, manufacturers compete on price. Amid a globally struggling economy, it should come as no surprise that so many people opt for last-generation or low-end devices instead of flagships.

Competitive Growth Has Moved to Developing Countries 

Markets like the United States, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia, are essentially at a point of market saturation when it comes to smartphones. That means most people have already purchased them and, thanks to the higher per-capita income in these countries, they’ve probably purchased new, high-end smartphones to meet their needs. Not so in developing countries, where competition is now hot.

As manufacturers look to bolster their profits and keep selling devices, they move into increasingly downscale, developing markets, where the economy just doesn’t support the sale of high-end smartphones in large volumes. Instead, consumers there focus on price and buy low-end or last-generation models that are cheaper and offer similar capabilities. 

Tech Has Developed So Fast That Even “Cheap” Phones Are Good Phones 

Years ago, cheaper phones were slow, outdated, and just not a pleasant experience. Nowadays, even the cheapest phones or those released a few years ago are perfectly fast. The Apple iPhone 4S is nearly four years old, but still runs the latest version of iOS. The Galaxy S3 is two years old, but runs Android capably and without excessive lag. Smartphone tech has finally gotten to a point where cheaper devices are just as capable, and they represent a big up-front savings to all who purchase them. For this reason, growth in the cheaper smartphone sector is expected to be strong for some time to come.

Although the release of new technology and new smartphones often receive the most attention, the practice of buying cheaper smartphones is becoming more popular. Not everyone can afford new or nice smartphones, but the majority of people prefer using a smartphone to a non-smartphone. As the industry changes, newer and nicer smartphones will be released, while perhaps more consumers will adopt the practice of using a cheaper smartphone. 

Author Bio:

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her advice for this article from the smartphone experts of Apple Shark who allow users to sell broken iPhone 4’s or iPhone 5’s back, no matter how damaged they are. 

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