December 16 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Economics Year: 2009 Rating: 6 Hot
Reuters reports that most leaders in the mobile phone industry see sales plummeting in response to the global economic crisis. "On average, the poll of 36 analysts shows global market volumes shrinking 6.6 percent next year and 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter -- traditionally the strongest period for the industry due to holiday sales." The interesting note is that a similar poll in early November saw predictions that the market would grow by 2.6% next year.
We all know the economy is going to crap, so it's not surprising that people are going to stop buying things they don't really need. For many, that's a brand-spanking new cellphone. Our culture has become (or always has been) a sort of throw-away culture where if your technology isn't the latest then you're way behind the curve.
iPhone after iPhone is thrown away, replaced by a new one ten times better and sexier, only to get replaced less than a year later. This economic jolt might be what it takes to get people to start sticking to their stuff, quell the need for the latest and greatest, and stop shopping smartly. Imagine a phone where you could switch out some of the components instead of buy a whole new product. Like a computer tower, just upgrade the parts instead of buying a whole computer. Honestly though, I see this as unlikely.
Image: Tim Psych (Flickr, CC-Attribution)