SmartphoneMusic players, video streaming, today’s handheld mobile devices come packed with an ever-growing variety of features in addition to voice telephony.  Despite all the time and effort manufacturers and software developers put into developing them, cell phone users in the US don’t care much about them, however, according to a Wirefly sponsored research report.

Wireless Week reveals the survey results. Surveying 2,391 recent cell phone subscribers, survey findings revealed that 64% of cell phone buyers were less concerned about how rich in additional features handsets were than they were in basic aspects of the cell phone such as size and color.

Though a majority of buyers choose the latest model of cell phones–those that tend to include all the latest features–only a fraction consider things like music players, video streaming, Web browsing, email, and even built-in cameras as important, must-have” features.   Forty-six percent of the 64 percent of respondents that purchased cell phones with Web browsers and email said they never used these features and only 15 percent said they were necessary.

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When it comes to how people use cell phones, age makes a difference.  Fifty-seven percent of those respondents 50 and older said they only use their cell phones to make calls.  Just 5 percent of those 24 and younger do the same.

Younger cell phone buyers–those between 31 and 40–are much more likely to use their cell phones to do more than make phone calls.  Those 24 to 30 were the most likely to watch videos and play games on their phones at least once a week.

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3 thoughts on “Do Consumers Really Want Cell Phone Bells and Whistles?

  1. Most of the people I know are doing only three things on their phone, besides making calls: (1) taking pictures, (2) reading email, and (3) checking news and weather. Only the iPhone users are playing music. Just because you can do many other things on these devices doesn't mean people will. The convenience only moderately offsets the form factor, so the likelihood to do these other activities (games, videos, music) probably isn't much higher than on traditional desktop PCs and home entertainment/gaming systems.

  2. Bells and whistles are only useful if they are transparently available and usable. Most phones don't accomplish that. The iPhone does. Apple does a great job of ensuring that people know about what the iPhone can do. When was the last time you heard from a BlackBerry evangelist about all the neat things you can do — beyond email, contacts, and attachments? I use a BlackBerry, but the iPhone is a much more attractive gizmo, because its bells and whistles are slick and usable.

  3. I had one of those fancy smart phones but realized quick enough that I'm paying for something I'm not using. The plan I was on was something bloody expensive! I switched to a NET10 prepaid phone and now I only pay for what I use. At 10c a minute with no contract and no hidden charges I'm much better off. I save about $30 a month now.

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