Wednesday, July 17, 2013

U.S. Smart Phone Customers Slow Device Upgrades

U.S. mobile customers are upgrading their devices at slower rates than they had been doing a few years ago, a trend many will attribute to the more-incremental advances in smart phone devices.

According to analysts at UBS, replacement rates actually turned negative in 2012, when device upgrades dropped about nine percent, year over year.

UBS predicts upgrades will fall again in 2013.

The trend will worry device makers, but might have unclear impact on service providers, who gain when users upgrade from basic phones to smart phones, adding a data plan.

It is far less clear how service providers fare if their customers upgrade less often.

Service providers might spend less money buying devices. Assuming those users already have and use data services, device upgrades might have relatively little impact on data revenues.

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