There are plenty of choices for cell phones and smartphones, yet everyone seems to have a preference. iPhone? "Yeah," Lauren Mitchell says. Android? "Nay," she says. Nokia? "Eh," the San Jose State University student replies.
That's not what Nokia wants to hear. It just unveiled two new models in New York called the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 as it claws its way back to the hearts of consumers. It used to be a dominant brand. Today, it's not even in the top five. An explosion of new cell phone models is under way. Samsung and Sony showed off new phones last week. It was Nokia and Motorola on Wednesday. Apple's turn is next Wednesday for the iPhone 5.
Asked why she gave a "yeah" to the Apple iPhone Mitchell says, "Because everybody has one." Tech blogs have been speculating the next iPhone will have a larger screen and a new connector for charging and synching. Following the crowd appears to be a compelling reason shy brands are bought. TechBargains.com conducted a survey of 1,300 people who indicated that 45 percent of them will buy the new iPhone 5, while 31 percent won't. After that, 24 percent are undecided.
Art education major Hannan Towles is among the those who won't upgrade from her iPhone 4S. "Usually, it's just a few tweaks that they change in the newer version, so I'm pretty happy with the version I have," she says.
Jake Achee is an Android user but he too tries to restrain the urge to buy the latest models. "As much as I have that kind of feeling to go buy the new one, I have to sit back and say OK, is my current device, is it meeting my needs? And it usually is," he says.
Cell phone makers recognize that new technology tends to unleash consumer spending. "They seem to be completely open to spending more money for technology. They're lacking in price sensitivity when it comes to improving the technology that they use in their life," consumer psychologist and professor Kit Yarrow says.
Some of the new models will begin hitting stores as early as late next week. Look for plenty of advertising, promotion, and buzz.