Sunday, January 30, 2011

Smart Phones Still Aren't the Only Phones

Today we often forget that there are still phones out there that aren't Iphones or Androids. In an article from cnn.com, they take a look at just how important feature phones still are to the mobile phone business. According to the article 70-75% of Americans and 95% of people worldwide are still using feature phones instead of smart phones. The demand is still fairly high for feature phones due to the fact that they are cheaper, and the technology is much simpler. When you walk into a Verizon or an AT&T store a majority of the phones are still feature phones. The downside that most people usually look at on feature phones is that they don't have as much access to the worldwide web. This week Facebook announced that they have produced an app to run on feature phones that isn't a stripped down version of Facebook. There are many other apps for feature phones, and all that anyone has to do to access them is download the free Snaptu Java-enabled feature phone app platform. The smart phones still have much more computing power and the number of apps available to a smart phone owner greatly out number the apps offered to a feature phone owner, but the feature phones will continue to survive due to their simplicity. A lot of people just want to make calls, and if they can have Facebook or Twitter too, that's just a bonus. According to the article the amount of technology becoming available to these phones is evolving fast. As long as feature phones stay cheap, simple, and effective they will remain in high demand. The problem with adding all this extra technology to the phones is that it might cause the price to increase, and most people who buy feature phones are all about the low price and simplicity.

12 comments:

  1. I think that with the feature phone's introduction of a facebook application is a prime example of why not to buy one, other than the fact that they are cheaper. In today's world if you are still using a basic phone rather than a smartphone you in serious need of updating. Sure there are plenty of people out there whose jobs and lifestyles require nothing more than a simple phone but that will change very soon. The basic phone will eventually become like the fax machine is now, just useless. Most people that are competing for jobs in the market place need smartphones just to do their jobs. Think about this scenario, two people apply for a job at your law firm. One person you notice has an iPhone 4, the other has a motorola razor flip phone. Who would you hire?

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  2. I think that Zach makes a great point about people are going to want some sort of social networking application on their phones. If you buy a new phone wouldn't you want multiple ways to communicate with friends and family. Of course there is always a price factor to consider that comes with a contract of the phone, so I guess its a question of will you pay more?

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  3. Most people that want simple phones, like my mother, goes for a phone that can make calls. She doesn't care if it can take pictures, has a full keyboard or has Facebook. In fact, the phones with all the technology confuse her. Buyers with this demand are going for the cheap phones. With a change in the supply, the demand for these phones will change due to the consumer's taste, or type of phone.

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  4. I couldn't imagine not having a smart phone. I use all the features of my iPhone on a daily basis. But the demand for simple phones is always in high demands. Elderly people don't need the complexity of a smart phone. Easy to use phones are perfect for elderly or not very technology savvy people.

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  5. My grandma has always loved her simple feature phone, but the rest of the family has iPhones. My grandma ended up actually really liking the fact that we could check the weather on our phone, and take better pictures. Because of this, she now has a smart phone. I think people are realizing, that simplicity is good, but the technology is also becoming more and more necessary to everyday life.

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  6. I think the reason that people still buy simple phones is because the people that buy them usually are from the older generations. Both my parents have smart phones, but they don't know how to use or care to use the cool perks that come with it. I think that as the years go by the newer generations will begin to use the smart phones and simple phones will die out.

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  7. With the large amount of people that still use so called "feature phones" and the ever advancing technology I don't see a price increase anytime soon. They are popular not only because they work and have basic web access and apps but because they are economically easy on the pocket book. Yes new programs are still coming out for them, yes new and better technology is being put in them yet prices will not rise. With our modern society technology is outdated within a three month period or less usually. New stuff is always hitting the market, with that said being "feature phones" are not the top of the line smart phone most of the time they are not getting the new hot components. Thus while using slightly outdated or matured products the value stays the same because of the high technology depreciation rates.

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  8. Does it cost more for a company to produce a "smart" phone than a "feature" phone? If it does cost more to make then does the higher price compensate for the high production costs? Does a company like Motorola make more from a droid sale or a "feature" phone sale?

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  9. What is one of the biggest cost saving factors to feature phones? Do you think with addition of these feature phone apps that it will drive the price up?

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  10. I know that with feature phones you don't have to pay the huge monthly bill for 3G web access. They're alot more simple and you get practically all the features that the phone offers without having to update the phone or buy apps. Yes, I do think the adding apps to the feature phones will drive the prices up. More advanced technology is required to run the apps, therefore it would cost more to produce, and the retail price would be bumped up.

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  11. I think feature phones will be around for a while. There's still a very high demand for those types of phones right now. I know that out of all of my family in Texas there is only one person older than 23 who has a smartphone. Feature phones are going to be around for a while, especially if the phone companies are somehow able to integrate apps into the phones without driving up the price too high.

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