For some people, the older the smartphone, the better
“When you first get a sparkly, top notch gadget and you peel off the plastic covering, and spend the following two months bearing it in an impenetrable case, at the point when your lovely new Samsung Galaxy whatever is pristine and scratch-free, everything’s working impeccably, and the battery life keeps going throughout the day. In any case, a few years in, your once-delightful telephone is currently a mass of scratches, dings, and imprints, and you’re counting the time until you can exchange it in for a more up to date model. You no more trouble with the impenetrable case—or any case by any means—and you could mind less if your telephone falls in the toilet.”
Between splashy launches, lavish new-phone offers (get a free HDTV on activation!) and frequent software updates that slow down your old handset, it sometimes feels like the entire technology industry is pushing you to buy the latest smartphone. Yet some holdouts resist.
Take Zak Sommerfield, 35, a software analyst in New York, who has hung onto his LG Delight flip phone for five years, even though his friends and co-workers make fun of it. “I hate smartphones, I hate how they take over people’s lives and they spend all their time looking at them,” he says. “I’d love to stay on this phone forever.”
People like Sommerfield are a rarity. More than 90 percent of smartphone users trade up for newer models within two years, says Ramon Llamas, who tracks mobile phones at research firm IDC. But a fraction of the population continues to cling to older phones, some 3 to 4 years old—or more.
These upgrade holdouts have different reasons for standing athwart techno-progress, yelling “Stop!” Some reject the trend toward ever-larger screens, preferring smaller phones that are harder to find these days. Others simply aren’t wowed by the latest features, or see no reason to spend hundreds of dollars when their current phones still work fine.
“Just as we saw with PCs and tablets, lifetimes on people’s devices are generally getting a bit longer,” says Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.