The hot trend in smartphones? Not buying a new one
27th May 2019
Posted by: Hakeem
Categories: Innovation, Technology
The smartphone industry plans to tackle a global slowdown in sales by selling new, pricey foldable devices and handsets that can support the super high-speed mobile internet standard known as 5G.
But that may not be enough to sway people to trade in their old phones as long as they remain in good working conditions, according to what some British, Singaporean and Chinese consumers told CNBC’s “Beyond The Valley.”
International Data Corporation said smartphone shipment volumes for the first quarter of 2019 fell 6.6% on-year after a 4.9% year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
The smartphone industry has a two-part plan to tackle a global slowdown in sales: sell a pricey new type of mobile device that is able to transform into a tablet, and promote phones that can support super high-speed mobile internet standard 5G.
CNBC’s “Beyond The Valley” caught up with people on the streets ofLondon,Singaporeand Guangzhou,Chinato ask what they thought of foldable smartphones and the responses were not positive:
“It looks very strange,” according to a smartphone user in Guangzhou.
“It’s super bulky,” said a user in Singapore.
“Phones are supposed to be for calling, for texting and for being connected with the world,” a user in London said about her expectations for smartphones. “I don’t think that I really need to pay that much to have this because I can pay a lot less and still be satisfied.”
Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, explained that all smartphone makers face “one over-arching problem” at the moment — their devices look pretty much the same and they have similar functionality. When mobile phones first came out, there was tremendous innovation both in hardware and software, but that’s not now the case, according to Wood.
“The marginal gains over the different generation of products started to slow down,” he added.
Smartphone makers are also betting on super-fast internet as an incentive to get more people to switch their existing devices for new ones that can support the so-called 5G mobile internet.