Times are changing -- or geeks are getting girlfriends -- as a recent Gazelle survey of more than 500 consumers finds that, overwhelmingly, 77 percent prefer to bring their significant other on summer vacation versus their phone. This is in stark contrast to a survey completed earlier this year that found people would rather go one week without sex than one week without their smartphone. Despite this update, the passionate connection people have with their mobile devices remains strong.
Smartphone ownership was historically limited to the geeks of the world, but things change. According to a June 2013 study by Pew Research Center, 61 percent of cellphone owners now own smartphones. Gazelle has noticed that as new devices, like the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4, are released, consumers are moving to upgrade faster than the typical 24-month carrier contract.
But this raised the question: what drives a consumer to get rid of their phone sooner rather than later, despite the seemingly powerful connection they have with their mobile devices?
From Gazelle's most recent survey, respondents offered a variety of reasons for upgrading faster than before. Some of the key results include:
Almost 50 percent of respondents upgrade phones so they can have "the latest and greatest." For the majority the reasons to upgrade include better memory, processors tech specs and speed. Another 43 percent of respondents upgrade for new innovations like swipe technology or motion sensors.
While AT&T is the most common carrier among respondents (41 percent), 45 percent say they would prefer Verizon as a carrier, citing network quality (speed + coverage) as the top differentiator.
Most smartphone users -- 58 percent -- have remained on a single platform (i.e. iOS or Android) since upgrading to a smartphone.
Regarding specific usage on their devices, 57 percent of respondents say social check-ins are top activities on their new phones. This was followed by 36 percent who "stalk on Facebook" and 33 percent who use Instagram on their devices.
Many consumers are still unaware of the value in their old phone. According to a separate Gazelle survey completed in June by Hanover Research, 44 percent put their old smartphone in a drawer or closet and 33 percent gave it away, donated it or threw it away.