More consumers will opt for feature phone with next purchase, survey shows
Despite the proliferation of the smartphone and all the attention paid to mobile operating systems that make the devices faster and more power, a majority of consumers will opt for a feature phone when making their next mobile phone purchase, according to a survey recently conducted by Compete.com. In polling 2,639 wireless device users, the website found that 65 percent plan to purchase a feature phone next, ignoring the hype surrounding the iPhone and Androidbased devices. Of the four major mobile carriers, the desire for a feature phone was strongest among Verizon Wireless customers. Fiftyfive percent of those users said they will go with a feature phone. The figure stood at 51 percent for both AT&T and TMobile customers, while it slightly dropped to 49 percent for Sprint users. The most common reason given for forgoing a smartphone was the cost of the devices and plans to go with them. Many smartphones are more expensive than their feature phone counterparts, and the same is true for data plans that allow smartphone users to download applications and surf the mobile web. Respondents also didn't believe a smartphone offered them features they needed or couldn't get from a feature phone. Still others, didn't identify as being tech savvy enough to take advantage of a smartphones features and uses. "I've had the phone for a week and a) I still don't have it fully set up with my contacts installed, linked to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles and b) I still haven't figured out where half the the shortcuts/bells/whistles are for the 50ish apps that were preinstalled," Julie Bort recently wrote for Network World, chronicling her own shift from feature to smartphone. The survey also tracked trends among current smartphone users. Of the current Android users that were polled, 49 percent had upgraded from a feature phone. Thirteen percent had switched
from a BlackBerry device. The feature phone may not be making a fullfledged comeback any time soon, but it is earning some more attention recently. Facebook, which rules the social media landscape on nearly every platform, recently released an application designed specifically for feature phone users. Like its counterpart for smartphones, the Facebook App for Feature Phones allows for quick and easy checking of a user's profile, status and news feed. The Creative Department is a Cincinnati, Ohio advertising, branding and marketing ad agency providing web site design and development.