Sunday, August 12, 2012
When cell phones first came on the market, it seemed as though only the privileged could afford what was then considered to be a luxury. Today, cell phones are everywhere. And they're not only being used by the masses as a primary device for their communication and entertainment needs, but they are thought of by many as a status symbol. In fact, many are of the opinion that the smart phone has very likely replaced the motor vehicle as a symbol of success.
Early Status Symbol Beginnings
As early as 1994, the New York Times ran an article about the mobile phone becoming a status symbol. In it, a Singaporean securities dealer named Ricky Goh was interviewed about what he considered to be the benefits of keeping up with the latest technology.
Goh's big purchase was a Nokia 2110, which cost over $1500 at that time. But he said he bought the then smallest and lightest digital mobile phone because he felt it would pay for itself as it would allow him to be more available to his clients.
In 1994, six of every 100 residents owned a mobile phone in Singapore. Then, the country was high on the mobile phone ownership list, just after the United States and Hong Kong. Singapore today is considered to be a long-mature mobile phone market, and world ownership of cell phones is purported to be over 60%.
In a survey conducted by Motorola eighteen years ago, it was discovered that such a high number of Singaporeans were turning to wireless technology because it allowed them to save time, increase work productivity and allowed them to have more flexible working hours. Just below that was the benefit of being able to stay in touch with loved ones.
But along with the many benefits to the work and personal lives of Singaporeans was an interesting phenomenon; both the country's living standards and disposable incomes were experiencing yearly increases. Coupled with the country's materialistic leanings, the conditions were perfect for an affordable status symbol like the mobile phone.
Being connected all of the time is not only the norm in today's society; it's expected. And very few other technologies can offer this in such a small and affordable package as the cell phone.
Today's smart phones not only offer the convenience of anywhere-connectivity, but have also become the primary device for millions that replaces both a cell phone and a computer. But what many would consider to be most important is how their mobile device fits in with their personality. After all, your smart phone travels with you everywhere, and whenever you take it out to text, surf, or talk, it will be seen.
The mobile devices on today's market come with all sorts of accessories to make a device stand out from the rest. From rhinestone-covered to designer, there are cases for every taste. You can change the 'skin' of your phone to suit your mood. And nothing these days makes you look cooler than wearing a set of headphones plugged into your favorite smart phone playlist.
As popular as many of today's gadgets has become, there are still those who aren't particularly concerned with whether society forgives them for being 'disconnected' or not. This frugal community definitely sees the value in owning a device which allows them to stay connected, but doesn't buy into the urgency to have the next big thing.
For some of these individuals, a device must meet some strong demands; not only does it have to allow for work and family communication, but it must also be able to do what other devices in the home, such as a personal computer, cannot. And while they may fully understand that this level of practicality may not be available on mobile devices for a good length of time, waiting is worth it to avoid the extra costs of purchasing new technology whenever it's introduced.
Those with low incomes have discovered that a smart phone can be a great way to cut down on bills, as it can be both a home internet and home phone replacement. And many people are now migrating their tech needs onto one device as they begin to understand how useful a smart phone can actually be.
- Mobile Phone Becomes Status Symbol
Guest author Ruth Donovan has written on a variety of topics, particularly related to the technology arena. You can check out her work helping consumers locate internet providers in Albuquerque.