Why do Smartphones Come With so Many Features if the Majority are Not Used?

According to a recent study on smartphones, nearly 50% of smartphone users do not use their phones to their full potential. The study found that 40% of users do not use their phone to access the internet and 51% of users do not use their phones for directions or other location based information. One might ask why this is the case because it could mean that an incredibly high number of smartphone users are essentially wasting their money buying these high power mobile devices and the smartphone manufacturers are wasting their resources making them. However, this is not the case because the marginal cost that the manufacturers have to pay in order for their phones to have some of the extra features is nearly 0, once the initial fixed costs have been paid. These fixed costs become worth it because they bring in other customers that otherwise may not have purchased phones. From the consumer’s point of view, they are all willing to pay a certain amount for a cell phone with a certain amount of features. If this amount is more than the price of a smartphone that has more features than what they are looking for, they will still be willing to purchase it. These extra unnecessary features remind me of the idea that “more is always better.” Hypothetically there could be some problems with the extra features being things such as apps that over-complicate the user interface or fill up the hard drive, but for the most part smartphone manufacturers do a good job of only adding utility to their products as technology develops.


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3 Responses to Why do Smartphones Come With so Many Features if the Majority are Not Used?

  1. phillels says:

    As the grandchild of people with no business owning smartphones who do, these statistics don’t surprise me. Most of the phones sold at major cell network stores are smart phones, and the number of “dumb phones” seem to dwindle every year. I think many people are attracted to the big buttons and the potential to do these more advanced things, but they never really become comfortable enough to use them.

  2. willicod says:

    You rarely see people without a smartphone these days because the carriers carry almost all smart phones now. I believe with many smartphones you are required to have a data contract, this would be an incentive for the carriers to carry and sell smartphones regardless of if the customer will use all the features.

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