Does Everyone Need A Smartphone?

Short answer; No. No, not everyone needs a smartphone. Some may feel their heart would stop without their smartphone but they are likely in the prime demographic of age and income. Nelson testing group has found that of cell phone users, people 25-45 and with incomes over 75k are the biggest smart phone users; peaking at 80% in the highest income bracket. To compare, the 55+ age group peak is also in the highest income at 50% usage. There is definitely a large loyal group of smartphone users but once you look at users over 55 fewer then 30% choose a smartphone. To examine the numbers more, there are actually 20% of people in the peak age/income group that still choose to not use a smartphone.

Much can be said on the topic of need v want and smartphones fall into the want category. There are millions of people in the world without any phone service but looking only at first world nations one can argue that a cellphone is a necessity for safety while traveling, but, you can get a basic prepaid phone for $100 a year. Compare that to the data plan necessary for a smartphone and you are paying 10x more a year at least. People are cutting out luxury items and the smartphone is something that can be downsized. When many have trouble putting healthy food on the table they do not need to spend the extra money on a want.

Smartphones win a lot of points for being an all in one tool. It is not just a phone but a GPS, date book, tiny internet machine and a million and one other things depending on apps. The technology that makes a smartphone special is befuddling to many who don't want to learn something new or physically can't use it well due to eyesight or dexterity. These people, usually older, if handed a smartphone would ignore most of the functions and use it like a phone, for them, the 'smart' is a waste.

Moving away from the older side of the spectrum, we have all seen preschoolers using smartphones. Many kids can navigate the apps and even without the ability to read can entertain themselves for hours. Does this mean they should have a smartphone of their own? Again, for safety, the phone aspect is necessary for many school age kids, but are they responsible enough to not goof off during class with features? If a parent wants to indulge their child, a tablet or iTouch have all the same functions
except for phone, and, the inexpensive prepaid takes away the temptations.

The Nelson stats show that a smart phone is not for everyone, because when you take away all barriers such as familiarity with technology and income, some people just don't want one. If 20% of the prime user group do just fine without then it is not something everyone needs.

Author’s Bio:
Sandy Coops currently works at time warner cable nc, a site that enables everyone to learn about how to save on broadband and internet cable.
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