Smartphones are a lot like new cars. The second you drive it off the lot, it’s worth half what you paid. Or at least by the time you get through the line at the Apple store, the latest iPhone is out of date.
A Retrevo technology lifecycle study found 62 percent of smartphone users think their phones are out of date, or will be before their contract expires.
With average contracts lasting two years, and new smartphone models hitting the shelves annually, 80 percent of those surveyed expressed displeasure with being stuck with what they see as used-car clunker smartphones for the contract term.
Savvy customers are demanding favorable contract terms, and suffer no ethical qualms jailbreaking locked phones. Carriers can forget about charging customers extra for smartphone upgrades with shorter contracts with 66 percent saying they would not pay more for a smartphone with a one-year contract.
Carriers may be catching onto this trend, albeit slowly. The two-year contract model remains industry standard, but several wireless companies offer alternatives. According to Retrevo, Verizon offers early upgrades after 20 months, AT&T offers a discount after 20 months, and Sprint customers paying more than $89.99 receive a discounted new phone after a year if they extend their contract.