You have never changed your smartphone so little, here's why

You have never changed your smartphone so little, here’s why

According to the analyst firm Strategy Analytics, with whom frandroid could exchange, there have never been so few smartphones replaced since 2008. This is explained in particular by a difficult economic context, but also by the lack of innovation.

Two smartphone stacks with USB-C ports // Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

You’ve probably noticed that the smartphone market has been at half-staff for several months. At the end of 2021, Counterpoint Research recorded a 9% drop in sales. This year could see a 7% drop, according to Strategy Analytics. How to explain this? Our little finger told us that it came from the lack of innovation in the middle, the smartphones that have more and more tend to look alike from one generation to another. But to find out, we went to ask Rajeev Nair, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics in charge of the Smart Connected Devices division, the question.

“Yes, lack of innovation plays a role, as evidenced by declining replacement rates and longer smartphone replacement cycles.”, start by asking the specialist in the telephone market. He explains to us that the smartphone replacement rate is at an all-time low. Only 26.8% of smartphones in circulation will need to be replaced in 2022, this is the lowest figure measured by the analyst firm since 2008. Similarly, they estimate that the replacement cycle, which designates the time before a user replace their device, it has never been greater. Count 45 months in 2022 approximately.

What is this about?

So why don’t we change phones anymore? According to the analyst, the lack of innovation should not be seen as the only factor in this slowdown. He also attributes it to a multitude of reasons: “In particular, an unfavorable economic environment (inflationary pressures, geopolitical conflicts (Russia-Ukraine war), supply disruption due to Covid in China, etc. ” He moderates explaining that if “Faced with the multitude of these challenges, consumers will find it difficult to make the purchase process,” only “remarkable innovations could change their minds”.

iPhone 14 Pro Max // Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

The lack of innovation and its impact on phone sales is best seen in developed countries, where the premium segment is more important than elsewhere. There, the replacement rate plummets completely. In North America it is at the lowest level ever observed, 33.9%, and in Western Europe, and therefore in France, that rate drops to 31.9%, the specialist further details. So the lack of premium smartphone appeal tends to partly explain why you’re certainly less keen to jump on the new flagship that’s just been released. All the better for your carbon footprint.

Consumers watch and take a cautious approach.

To compensate for the lack of innovation and “Stay in the minds of consumers”, some brands – we see you Xiaomi and Realme – will renew their models more frequently. they will also use rebrand, an expression that designates the fact of retaking an existing chassis, changing its name and part of the exterior design before making a completely new model. If this is supposed to compensate for the lack of innovation, Rajeev Nair considers instead that “Consumers are watching and taking a cautious approach”.

Beyond innovation, a solid entry level

Of course, other factors could be mentioned besides lack of innovation or economic difficulties. There may be less reason to switch, simply because the phones are better.

In fact, the entry level tends to become more and more solid and qualitative. If before the cheapest smartphones barely lasted six months, today we can see ourselves spending two, three, four years in your company without worries. The Oled is invited more and more, the duration of updates tends to increase, it is possible to play 3D games, take correct photos. In short, everything a phone can do. So why change it? There must be people at Samsung, Apple or Xiaomi who would like to have the answer to this question.


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