Do you think some manufacturers exploit their name?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
When it comes to phones, you can safely assume that some people think the more expensive the device, the better it works. Which, in some cases, may be true. I'm an avid fan of the quote "To each his own." So while one person might consider the latest $300 smartphone the best thing to ever exist, another person might consider the $49 smartphone to be the best thing that ever existed. Or, perhaps, the person who bought the $49 device that Company A made thought that since Company A did such a good job on their latest $300 device that the $49 device would be just as good, since it was produced by the same company.
In my experience with phones, I've seen good devices and bad devices come from all manufacturers. That's generally how every company is - you have good times and bad times. When I was working in retail, I'd show people Phone A and Phone B, and they'd stick their nose up at Phone B because they had a bad experience with the company who made it. This is where I ask about their previous device, and generally would be able to figure out what the problem was and if it was something wrong with the device itself or perhaps something they didn't realize they were doing wrong. That's when you bring out the finer points of what the company has done to change their old phone and make Phone B look better to them.
But then you have companies that use their name to their advantage for sales. Perhaps a company made a device that was so revolutionary and wonderful that people would drop as much money as they needed to in order to obtain one. The device itself might hardly change throughout the course of its new releases, yet the price stays around the same and, coincidentally, so does the software. And some people, not realizing this, automatically assume "Oh, Company A made this so it must be good. I know this because I see Company A's name everywhere." Not necessarily because the device is really that good, but simply because they recognize the name.
How many times have you been in a store and you hear a child say, "I want this toy, Mum"? Mum says, "Why do you need it, honey?" To which the child replies, "Because all the other kids have it!" All the time! Or at least I do. I was one of those kids, and it's the same situation I see as an adult now. All the other adults have one, so I want one too! Now, we here at PhoneDog (readers and editors alike) are generally the type to do the research before making a phone purchase. Or, even if we are wanting to purchase a "mainstream" phone, we do so for argument's sake or to see if all the hubbub is worth it. Or maybe we just like the specs. Regardless, not everyone is like us. Some businesses see this as a business opportunity.
We as consumers make the name for a company. They supply the product, we supply the demand, the reviews, and the money flow. Sometimes I wonder how the sales of different phones would look if everybody who purchased a phone was required to do research before purchasing. Even if you go into a retail location and ask for an opinion, you're likely to be swayed by the associate's opinion, if you haven't read up on anything. That's their job - to sell you these products! More than likely they're going to sell you the product they like the best, although the point is to put you in the best device that works for you.
In this industry, you're likely to come across the phrase "You get what you pay for." but in many circumstances, I don't find that to be true. Plenty of times I'll see people get more by paying less, or they get less by paying more. And sometimes they'll get exactly what they expected. But the people who purchase a device solely based on a recognizable name will only have a 50/50 chance of liking the phone, which is why I always recommend doing plenty of research beforehand. The opinion of one is okay, but the opinions of many are likely to point you in the right direction. If you base your choice solely on company name alone, I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up right back at the store to exhange the device for something else.
Readers, do you think that some companies exploit their name? Or do you think that if companies have a high rating, they genuinely deserve the recognition they are receiving? Let me know what you think!