Originally published: April 28, 2011
Last updated: April 28, 2011 - 10:45pm
As new smartphones are launching on a regular basis, US consumers are starting to feel the crunch of accelerating technology cycles: 62 percent believe that their current smartphone is either obsolete or will be so before the end of their current contract.
The data comes by way of a poll from Retrevo, a Sunnyvale (CA) consumer electronics shopping and review site. The core issue is that as smartphone uptake is on the rise, the technology inside the devices is currently improving on a yearly basis. And yet, many consumers opt for a two-year contract in order to gain the cheapest hardware price due to carrier subsidization. Some could go month-to-month, but that generally requires paying full price for a handset. One solution to get the smartphone cycle in sync with contracts is the option of a one-year carrier commitment. Depending on your carrier, you may pay a little more up front for hardware, but only be committed to a year of voice and data service. Retrevo’s poll found that 66 percent don't want to pay more for a phone in order to get a one-year contract, while 19 percent would go for a 12-month term for an additional $100 hardware price. Ironically, Verizon Wireless just this month eliminated such a one-year contract option, so it’s either pay full price for a phone or commit to “cellular servitude” as your phone becomes obsolete.
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