The world is firmly mobile. Consumer computing is firmly a mobile affair. But there are certain types of phones you are not likely to buy today in 2020.
The types of phones we are talking about do not sell well. They have never sold in great numbers. And that is because most people do not want what they offer. Those phones have features that a smaller chunk of society appreciate and want, and so they do record some sales and have a fanbase – a small fanbase.
But I am betting that you are like most people and do not care about such phones. Having been active in the mobile phone space since 2001, here is my list of 4 types of phones you are not likely to buy today – unless you are an outsider.
This is interesting read, I guarantee you. Ready? Let’s go.
Phones you are not likely to buy: Security and privacy-focused phones
It has been proven again and again that the majority of consumers do not care about data privacy or security. Or perhaps they are not aware of how badly their personal information is being milked by smartphones and the implications of that milking.
Whichever of the above is true, it boils down to the same thing – no-one who has built a privacy-focused smartphone or operating system has seen huge user numbers. Those things just do not sell – Sailfish, Sirin Solarin, Finney Blockchain Phone, or some other, such smartphones and platforms are largely ignored by people.
Chances are that you are one of them and do not care. I doubt that you have ever bought any smartphone because of its great security. The numbers do not lie.
Phones you are not likely to buy: Smartphones with professional cameras
If you are like most people, you love good photos and want a great camera on your phone. In particular, you want to be able to take really cool photos which you can share on Instagram, Facebook, and on your WhatsApp status.
But there is a difference between a good camera and a professional grade camera. Unless you are a photography enthusiast or a professional photographer, if you were handed a professional camera now, you probably wouldn’t know what to do with it. You’d be at a loss as to how to use it.
Which is why smartphones with professional grade cameras do not sell. By professional grade, I mean smartphone cameras with features and controls that only advanced users understand and know how to use.
Which is why (in part) the Nokia 808 PureView didn’t sell in great numbers. The Lumia 1020 didn’t. And the Nokia 9 PureView will not. They all have great cameras that produce amazing photographs, but most consumers can’t use them properly.
What you want is a camera phone that you can point at something and shoot without having to fiddle with any controls or settings, and get great results just like that. That is, unless you are a professional photographer or photography enthusiast.
Phones you are not likely to buy: Smartphones with a QWERTY keyboard
Once upon a time, a physical keyboard was the way we all typed, because we were coming from the typewriter and PC age. If you are over 30 years old, your first typing experience was likely on a hardware keyboard of some sort – PC, laptop, or smartphone. Business users, especially, swore by the QWERTY keyboard. I did. I loved the Communicators back in the day.
But then, along came touchscreen phones, and now we have a new generation whose first typing experience was on a touchscreen.
Suddenly, smartphones with a QWERTY keyboard became unattractive. Most people now consider them relics, and you are likely one of them. Phones with a QWERTY keyboard no longer sell in droves. It is 2020 and most people have moved on.
Phones you are not likely to buy: Luxury phones
Of course, you are not likely to be within the economic class of those who can afford a $20,000 smartphone. That is N7 million for a smartphone, at the current exchange range. And that is not even so expensive in the world of luxury phones. There are luxury smartphones that go for as high as $48.5 million a piece. Do the math.
Unless you are an oil sheik, a tech mogul, an industrialist, a cement magnate, a member of one of the grand royal families, or the gods forbid, a drug baron, such devices are simply above your pay grade. Way, way above your pay grade.
If you are in the same economic classes as most people on this planet, you are not likely to buy a $20,000 or $1 million smartphone either, to be honest.
Factors that influence purchasing decisions by consumers
What factors are responsible for the purchasing decisions of consumers? The first is cash. Almighty cash. No matter how much you like or want something, if you cannot afford it, you cannot afford it. You can set a goal to increase your income so that you will be able to afford it later, and that is good. Money remains the top factor in influencing whether or not you will acquire an item.
Ease of use and convenience is next. Like most human beings, you flow in the direction that offers the least resistance. Water does too. In fact, all liquids and gases do it. Animals and humans as well. The whole of existance moves in that direction. Having to choose between a smartphone that is easy and smoth to use and another that is clunky and difficult to figure out…yes; I know. The former gets your vote. See?
Another factor is durability. Products that last longer will always be a delight to you and to everyone else. No-one wants a phone that stops working, or develops charging problems, or has any other issues, 6 months after purchase. Everyone loves longevity – everyone (stay focused; I am not talking about that other longevity under the sheets).
So, tell me: are you one of the larger group of consumers that this article describes, or do you belong in one of the niches that want things that most people do not want?
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.