Do accessories play a big part in your device purchase?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: August 7, 2012

There have always been accessories for phones. Something to further bolster your purchase of a phone, or maybe boost its functionality or usefulness. I don’t see a lot of them these days, but I remember seeing those leather holsters all over the place way back when. BlackBerry users, especially, pulling those devices out of the holster, and the loud snap when the magnetic latch came back into place. Good times. These days, cases have evolved quite a bit, but so have accessories in general. Now-a-days you can probably find an accessory for just about anything you need.

And yet, I’ve limited my accessory usage over the years. Now, I basically only use headphones.

Can we really consider headphones an accessory?

Anyway, while I may not be the avid purchaser of accessories, I know plenty of people who are. I’ve watched as they’ve laid down quite a few bucks here and there to get that “perfect case,” or maybe even a pack of screen protectors. I’ve watched people buy Bluetooth headsets (crazy, I know!), and then there are the Bluetooth speakers, like from Jambox.

Things get interesting when we dive into the accessory pool for tablets. They’ve got some of the coolest ones out there. Maybe it’s because it’s just bigger, but even the screen protectors seem larger than life. I’ve never put a screen protector on a device, but I can imagine that putting one on a tablet is a harrowing experience. Wouldn’t want to screw it up and have to try again on that 9.7-inch, or bigger, display. And then they’ve got cases that work double-duty positions, both protecting the device in question, and offering up a keyboard. Pretty ingenious stuff.

When the iPhone 4S launched, there were mixed reactions about the new device. Unsurprisingly, there were plenty of people out there who were unimpressed with the new device’s old physical aesthetics. It was the same phone that we got with the iPhone 4. Recycled, with some minor changes that didn’t change the way it looked. All of that is true, but on the other side of the fence were all the people who had bought accessories for the iPhone 4, and now didn’t have a problem justifying the purchase of a 4S, because all those previous purchases would carry over.

Cases especially. There are friends of mine who have cases for every day of the week. There are others who switch cases to match their favorite sports teams that happen to be playing that day. Or, my favorite, folks who have cases that actually match what they are wearing for the day. Even if they don’t plan on going outside. Cases are all over the place, and if you have an iPhone then you know there are more cases to choose from than we could probably ever hope to count.

What may be worse, though, is the person I spoke to back when the Galaxy Nexus launched on Verizon’s network. They were due for an upgrade, and they had waited on the iPhone 4S for some reason. Perhaps to see how the Galaxy Nexus stacked up in person, with usage. When we went to the store to check it out, it ultimately came down to accessories. No kidding. It wasn’t even about the cases he had back at home for his iPhone 4, but accessories that were available now for the iPhone 4S, and what would be coming down the line.

He based his decision on a phone due entirely to the accessories available for it. Or, the lack of accessories available for the “newer” device.

I use accessories for tablets, not smartphones (other than the aforementioned headphones). I can understand where a different Bluetooth keyboard, or case, or even a particular stand could come into play when thinking about buying a tablet. The more options, the better.

So I’m curious, Dear Reader, do accessories play a part in your next purchase decision? Or not at all? If they do, which accessories do you consider the most, versus something else? And if you don’t think about accessories when you’re buying a new device, is it because you don’t use accessories, or because you’re prepared to use whatever’s available, rather than be picky? Let me know.

Products mentioned