Samsung and other Android phone manufacturers such as HTC and Xiaomi are facing steep losses as consumer are not buying new phones as often. I am not so certain the new iPhones have really made a difference, but then I have general dislike of anything Apple.
Their results underscore the challenges that all smartphone vendors — with the potential exception of Apple — face as consumers upgrade their smartphones less frequently and are less impressed by newer devices’ incremental improvements. Moreover, the once hot growth market of China appears to be reaching a saturation point for first-time buyers, with cooling demand there, too.
I still have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with T-Mobile. I was not offered a subsidy, instead I made a downpayment then equal monthly payments over the course of two-years with no interest. If I were to have terminated my service prior to paying off the phone, the balance remaining would have been added to my last bill. I have since paid off the phone and have been enjoying a smaller monthly phone bill. Since I bought my S4 the S5 and S6 Edge plus the Note 4 have come out.
Other factors include fewer basic phones that need to be replaced, and a shift by carriers to equipment installment plans, in which you pay a monthly fee for a device in exchange for a cheaper wireless plan, according to Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. Such plans mean fewer people are switching to new devices because they no longer have to pay that fee once the smartphone is paid off, he said.
I’ve thought about upgrading…until I saw the price for one of these new phones, especially the Samsung Note 4. There isn’t really anything about these new phones that make me want to get one. Sure T-Mobile has offered me another 0% financing again, but really I like having the smaller phone bill. The main reason I got the S4 was because it was 4G LTE and that was something my old phone (HTC Sensation did not support). The S5 and S6 both have better camera (though the camera on my S4 which I rarely use is better than the digital camera I bought a few years ago) as well as some other bells and whistles. But again, nothing that excites me.
On top of that, many of this year’s newest devices were viewed as “incremental at best,” said Dawson. Sure, the new smartphones offer better cameras, more storage and handy features like fingerprint sensors. But none of the upgrades have been significant enough to justify an immediate upgrade.
My S4 is not without its issues, but those are minor and don’t occur often. Occasionally the phone will freeze while charging and I will need to pop the back cover off and remove then reinsert the battery to give it a hard reboot. That is something that you can not do with the S6 given the back is not removable (you also can not swap out SD cards). Also, on very rare occasion the phone will randomly reboot itself. That use to occur more frequently at my old residence when I would get out the range of my home Wi-Fi network. The screen is in perfect condition and the phone works flawlessly otherwise. Because of this, I see no reason to shell out the cost of a mid-range laptop to get a new phone that really doesn’t offer anything better than what I already have. So my plan is to continue using the phone until it no longer works.