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Old 07-22-2012, 03:55 PM
Location: Auburn, AL
115 posts, read 163,087 times
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Data plans are are not an indicator of whether smartphones are used as smartphones because apps can be run using WiFi in place of data. Maps, web browsing, games, and email are all available where there is internet connection. I live in a busy area where I can easily find internet access within a block of wherever I happen to be, so it doesn't make much sense to get an expensive smartphone plan when all the features are readily available.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:03 AM
5,698 posts, read 18,369,857 times
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Part of my job is working with cell phone customers troubleshooting their problems. I cant tell you how many times grandma has come in not knowing a damn thing about her phone and the only reason she got it was because the grandkids thought it was a good idea. I always feel bad because it makes these people feel bad about themselves. They say stuff like, "Im old and not very smart with this stuff." I feel like saying, no neither is the problem. You have a phone that doesnt meet your needs. You just want to open the thing up call someone. So I show them the best I can how to use the phone. Many have never once opened the browser. Data back ups? That's a 3 hour conversation.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:11 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 17,227,311 times
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Originally Posted by Drover View Post
How much "status" is there in having an item so ubiquitous that middle-class 12-year-old kids have them?
That's a good point. I wouldn't so much say smart phones are "status" symbols nowadays (irregardless of what I said in my previous post), but perhaps there is a growing stigma attached to "dumb" (feature) phones, just as there was with pre-paid phones. Smart phones are increasingly seen as "have to have it" items whose non-possession would actually subtract from one's status. One person I know, for example, is teased for owning a somewhat-old, pretty basic feature phone. All of the friends in his circle have smart phones. Likewise, a lot of people do not buy cheap, but reliable cars, clothes from Wal-Mart, or older, used CRT TVs, even if they are perfectly adequate for the purposes they use them for. Rather, they own the more expensive alternative (which do not always positively contribute to their "status") because they DO NOT want to be looked on as "poor" or "cheap", especially when their entire social circle is in possession of more expensive things. How many people watch 4:3 SD content on their flat-panel TVs when the same program is available in 16:9 HD? Do they buy their TV for the picture quality? It's a sort of non-ostentatious "keeping up with the Joneses" that all of us have done.

In other words, when all of one's friends have smart phones with large LCD touchscreens, would they really want to be "inferior" by having a feature phone, that you still actually have to press buttons on? Even if they do not use the smart phone features, the social appeal (or avoidance of social detriment) is still there.

Last edited by tvdxer; 08-29-2012 at 05:24 PM..
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