Is The Cost Of Owning A Smartphone Getting Too High?
Almost two thirds of the total number of phone subscribers living within the United States own a smartphone. But it appears that owning a smartphone is beginning to become some sort of a hassle for users, with many people feeling that they are struggling to afford the costs of owning one. Others are even starting to think that instead of improving their lives, smartphones are actually disrupting them. Well, at least according to a study.
Pew Research Center is a think tank company based in Washington, DC, and it conducts studies on demographic trends and public opinion on topics that affect society not only in the US setting, but also the rest of the world. Based on its latest study, the number of smartphone owners in the US has increased to 64 percent. What is truly remarkable is that just three years ago, that percentage was only 35 percent. Pew also found out that as many as 15 percent of US citizens depend on smartphones are their only means for accessing the web (Pew has classified this group as smartphone-dependent).
The results of Pew's surveys only enforce the idea that smartphones really are continuing to become a more integral part of our daily lives. But as these gadgets increasingly become an important part of our day-to-day routines, Pew's study suggests that a growing number of people also find that the cost of owning a phone has become too expensive to afford.
Indeed, almost a quarter of the smartphone owners that Pew had polled have had to terminate or temporarily cease their smartphone subscriptions because the cost has gotten too high. And what is worse is that almost half (48 percent to be exact) of smartphone-dependent users have had to go without access to smartphones. Also, according to Pew's study, the smartphone-dependent users are more likely to go beyond their monthly Internet access allotments, which results to their Internet speeds becoming throttled or suspended altogether. Pew also found that low-income owners of smartphones are more likely to utilize their handsets in looking for jobs, and four times more likely to submit job applications through a smartphone compared to those who are subscribed under fixed-line broadband services.
Here is an interesting summary of Pew's survey regarding people's views on the use of smartphones:
- 19 percent feel that smartphones are financial burdens, while 81 percent claim they are worth the high cost
- 72 percent feel that smartphones connect people, while 28 percent claim they distract people
- 70 percent feel that smartphones give people freedom, while 30 percent claim they put people on a leash
- 54 percent feel that smartphones are not necessary, while 46 percent claim they are essential to living
Other findings from Pew's study indicate that text messaging is the most common activity performed using smartphones, people older than 30 years old are more likely to use their smartphones to make voice calls compared to using them to browse the Internet, 90 percent of smartphone users send emails via their devices, and lastly, smartphone users under 30 years old are more likely to view videos or listen to music compared to older smartphone users.