There are plenty of reasons to upgrade a cell. For me, it usually starts with buyer's remorse after a month of joyful playing with my new phone. As cooler apps and shinier models come out, the previous object of my affection begins to look? well, a little old. I start noticing the wear on the outer casing or scratches on the screen. I blame my phone for not producing gorgeous print-ready images, or brood over lackluster memory, a huge footprint, annoying ringtones, etc?
Before long, I am full-on window-shopping. Thoughts like ?Oooh, this is sexy,? or ?OMG! It has HOW MANY megapixels?? start flooding my mind. I rush to check my contract to see when I can upgrade (or jump ship)?like a kid chucking a once-beloved toy when a brand-spanking new Wii shows up at a friend's house. Sadly, my bank account doesn't always support this cause. (Even less so now.) And I am far from alone.
The ripple effects of the depressed economy are far-reaching, not just in the U.S., but abroad as well, and the worldwide cellular industry hasn't been spared. Experts predict that the global mobile phone market will suffer next year, resulting in the biggest slump since its 2001 crash.
According to Reuters, the outlook was a little rosier a few months ago, when only one out of 23 analysts believed that sales growth would dip in 2009. Now eight out of 22 analysts are projecting a slowdown. (They?re pegging growth at three percent in Q4 and 2009, which is radically different from the usual 10 percent or more per year.) Although this is better than no increase at all, and way better than a complete drop, manufacturers and distributors have been prepping for the downturn by avoiding a build-up of large inventory.
What does this mean for you and me, as cell phone enthusiasts and end users? Well, there will likely be a big push during the holidays, so if getting a hot new gadget is important to you, keep your eyes peeled starting around Thanksgiving. If price is an issue, look for spectacular deals that will extend at least into the first quarter of next year, and probably beyond, as companies look to unload any remaining overstock.
Will R&D take a hit? Maybe. Then again, if brands become desperate for huge out-of-the-box-hits, we might see some big investments in technology to help boost sales. So there's no reason yet to believe that fewer hot products will be unveiled next year. But only time will tell, so buckle your seatbelts.
And most importantly (here's the shameless plug), stay connected with PhoneDog.com. Noah, John, Ryan, Courtney, Joni, Rebecca, Tom, Andre and I will give you the scoop on which phones are worthy, how to get more play from the ones you've got, industry news, apps, launches and all the best deals as they hit the scene. We've also got revamped forums, the all-new PhoneDog TV and?if you want to win a cool, FREE phone'the One Paw Bandit instant win game.
There will be a lot going on in the months ahead, so stay tuned. We definitely are.