What a difference a year (and a device) makes. Bloomberg is reporting that U.S. consumers raised mobile phone spending by 40 percent last quarter, over the same quarter last year. They are attributing this mostly to the availability of the iPhone, and also to other PDA makers, such as Research In Motion. This, analysts say, is a move towards a more European scheme. They pay $300 to $400 for their best devices. Up until this year, it was rare to find Americans who spent more than $50 on a phone.
“The iPhone has made the U.S. consumer appreciate the value of the mobile phone,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc.
We’re not sure if we’d go that far, but the iPhone certainly had/has a role in the mobile phone landscape in the country. Its $400 price tag was a major force in driving up mobile phone sales by a billion dollars last quarter, over the same quarter last year. That’s $83 for each customer.
If anything, the iPhone has proven that people will pay a higher price for a top-end phone. You just have to deliver on the hype, and by all accounts it seems the iPhone has.
The only beef we have with high-end phones is their fragility. Phone are carried around in pockets and purses, and will naturally face damage over time. We can pay high prices for desktops and laptops because we know those devices will likely last for a long time. You can go for years and years on a single desktop, but bump into the wrong thing while your phone is in your pocket, and you’re out a good deal of money.
So we suppose that better cell phone protection should come along with these higher end phones. After all, you wouldn’t dump your laptop straight into your grimy backpack — you’d secure it otherwise, or find a better case for it. The same treatment should be had for cell phones.