The smartphone is so important to some people that they would dive into the sea to retrieve it, pay monthly insurance premiums for its’ safety, and have it with them 24/7.

Despite this widespread attachment people of the modern world have for their smartphones,

recent reports on smartphone shipments for 2018 revealed sales were the lowest since the communication revolution began. How can this be so? Is it a once off, or the beginning of a trend? Speculation on this led to the following five reasons to explain why.

  • Market Saturation

There are so many smartphones available today that the big guys might have to start dropping their prices. We all know they don’t cost as much to make as they do to buy, and except for some parts, what we are paying for is branding.

Die-hard fans will disagree explaining why (insert brand) is the only one to have. Perhaps with so many choices, we were just slower to choose, and many of us chose not to choose at all.

  • Your Stash in the Drawer

The pay-as-you-go users aren’t as common as the contract users, who get upgraded within 24 months. As smartphones are sophisticated pieces of technology that allow you to run a business using just that gadget in your hand, they can last longer than 24 months, provided the user is not clumsy.

This means many people have two or three in a cupboard, safe, wardrobe or drawer, in various states of disrepair, and didn’t want to buy another one last year.

  • Decent technology lasts

As smartphones have been around for over ten years now, they’ve lost their novelty factor, and have become necessities. Queues to buy the latest (insert brand) no longer snake around corners.

The reality is that even the phones from three to four years ago are still usable and in good working condition. Why replace it if it’s doing its job?

It’s the operating systems that demand updated hardware of the newer phones that are making older gadgets obsolete. To an extent, a backlash has already begun, as users feel the pressure to consume more.

  • We’re attached

Our smartphones are extensions of our families and friends. When we can’t be with them, we can still connect. What if some of that affection we feel for our loved ones becomes attached to the thing connecting us to them? This idea isn’t novel. Back in 2016, research on adult teddy bears was well underway. Basically, we love our phones and don’t want new ones as long as they still work.

Affection for our phones is one thing, but anxiety over them has been a topic of research, too. Researchers noted in 2017 that the compensatory aspect of the smartphone makes us irresponsible at times, or puts us in danger. How many people use their phones while driving, for instance? 

  • Life’s getting more expensive

Inflation seems on the increase throughout the world, and the property ladder doesn’t even reach the ground in some places anymore, so the cost of a new smartphone – when your perfectly good one from 24 months ago is still working well – seems unnecessary to some. It’s not just that the smartphone is expensive: everything else is, too!

The question is: is this is a trend on the rise, with consumers opting to keep their own phones rather than get the latest model? Will 2018 be the worst year with its 4.1% drop in shipments? Or will 2019 reveal the same – or a much steeper – drop?

In 2019, smartphones might be more functional than symbolic of your status. People can and do run businesses where their smartphone is their first point of contact. Outsourcing business needs to specialist freelancers, or joining agencies that are virtual talent pools, can cut costs for every business, and we’re doing it from our smartphones.

When we learn more about how technology can serve our business needs, we might then find ourselves wanting the latest model to have the most sophisticated computer available fit nicely in our hands. Until then, we seem to be keeping our own smartphones longer, repairing them locally, and doing business very well from them, thank you very much.