Have We Reached Peak Mobile Phone?
Have We Reached Peak Mobile Phone?
As of Thursday May 2, 2019, the population in the UK is 66,894,718, as best estimates can be.
As to how many mobile phones are in use in the UK, that is difficult to estimate, due to many factors, one being that some people have more than one mobile phone.
However, one estimate is that 94% of all adults own a mobile phone.
In 2013, I know six (6) years ago, the UK ranked number 17 in mobile phone usage, and there were 83,100,000 mobile phones in use. Which is more than one (1) phone for every man, woman, and child.
So there are a lot of mobile phones being used in the UK, and the world.
But are we reaching the end of our mobile phone tether, are we reaching “peak mobile phones”?
Has our love of all things newly mobile changed, gone off, are we the fickle consumers we seem to be showing we are.
Four (4) years ago a bold prediction was made that mobile phones would be more in the Internet business, than phone call business.
Data was to rule the roost, in that we all get free calls and text messages, but data is where the money is at.
In addition, handset were to become very expensive, so the days of no upfront cost, just sign a two (2) year contract and get the latest and greatest handset was coming to an end.
It would appear that prediction, or parts of it, have come to fruition, they have come to be.
Research: Taking one for the team, myself and my partner did some research as to the state of getting a new mobile phone, and while we were slightly shocked, we were generally confused??
Both of us are up for contract renewals on our mobiles, or so we thought and had been receiving text messages saying we were.
In inquiring with two (2) different mobile phone companies, who actually are under the same carrier, who knew? We found out some interesting facts.
The first being, we were not due upgrades for another 30 days, so upgrading now, was going to cost us; cost us in paying off or buying out the remaining month or two left.
So why send the upgrade notices?
The next enlightening moment was when we were told that even when we did upgrade, and sign a two (2) year contract, we would need to pay £50 to as much as £200 for a new handset.
No more freebie phones just for signing up.
Both “technicians” at the mobile shops stated that the cost of handsets is now, for some over £1,000!
Gone are the days of a new handset every few years, unless you pay some dosh upfront.
Also, data is getting more expensive.
We currently receive 5gig of data in our current plans, as a part of the plan.
New plans drop this to 2gig of data; want more, you pay more.
Another aspect of the prediction rings true.
Sales of Mobiles Down
With the number of phones already in use in the market, coupled with the high cost of a new mobile phone, sales of mobile phones has declined.
Samsung alone is down by 60% so far for 2019, and Apple has revamped their sales predictions and profits to shareholders.
A Markets Analyst at CCS Insight, Marina Koytcheva states, “I don’t think I have seen the market with such a negative outlook in the last 10 years.”
“I don’t think we will ever again see the growth of five or 10 years ago.”
That kind of growth is unsustainable.
You need constant innovation, and technology, and for now, we seem to have hit a plateau.
Not to mention it seems the market seems to be saturated. We all have mobile phones already.
Couple this with the expense of a new latest and greatest phone, and you have recipe for a slowdown in sales.
We as consumers know what we like, and what we can afford.
Some of us like the smaller handsets, they fit into our pockets, bags, and special places in our luggage when we travel. New phones may not always fit these spaces.
It is just like the airline and luggage industry’s relationship; the airlines reduce the size of carry on bags, the luggage industry responds and makes smaller carry on bags.
If our mobiles are awkward to carry and do not fit in our pockets, either our pockets need to get larger, or we don’t buy a new larger phone.
As to if we have hit peak mobile phones, it is appearing that we have.