Growing Trends Of The Mobile Phone Industry
The ever-changing mobile communications industry is again transforming consumer perception of telephony on-the-move. We?ve come a long way since the 80?s "brick like" model that gave us the freedom to move away from dingy payphones. In fact, mobile phones today serve a completely new purpose. No longer is it solely about the need to contact a friend, colleague or family member at any time or place. What reaches out to the majority of consumers today is the uniqueness of a handset; as mobile technology becomes fashion accessory. Constant advancements in technologies ensure we?re spoilt for choice, with the capacity to personalise almost every aspect of a mobile phone.
Consumers have been groomed to demand an increasingly high standard of functionality in their mobile phones. The good news for mobile phone suppliers is that this ensures handset replacement is rapid, as research and development evolves the phone into a personal organiser, music player, camera and mobile entertainment centre. We want to enjoy games, video clips and music from our phones and the mobile music industry in particular is going from strength to strength. As a result mobile phone giants, such as Sony Ericsson, are exploiting demand with the imminent release of the W800i, an advanced walkman phone with CD ripping software. (http://www.sonyericsson.com).
It will be interesting to see how such sophisticated phone models will compete against the competitive and fashion-conscious portable MP3 player market. Although products such as Apple?s iPod have taken off significantly and seem to be in everyone?s pocket, three years since the launch of Apple?s high profile MP3 player, is the Californian firm facing competition from an increasing number of industry sectors? Sceptics believe the latest addition from the Apple team, the iPod shuffle, is a disappointment, so will consumers look elsewhere for innovation?
Image is a crucial factor that mobile phone providers should take into consideration. Consumers are concerned with the way in which a product can reflect their personal identity. Therefore the design of a mobile phone is important. Phones that look the part are highly favoured. As a result, mobile phones now come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some companies, who want to encourage consumer engagement at an early age, have extended their marketing campaigns to include targeting children with brightly coloured mobiles featuring flashing lights (http://fireflymobile.com).
If this was not enough, many consumers go to extensive lengths to find the most up-to-date ringtones and screensavers. Consequently, a myriad of websites now exist specifically to cater for this growing market. Examples include 1st Choice Ringtones (http://www.1st-choice-ringtones.co.uk) and Mobile Ringtonez (http://www.mobileringtonez.com)."
Modern consumers are no longer satisfied with the traditional "ring ring". Downloadable tones can range from classical music to the latest chart toppers. The public have generally responded positively to such a vast selection, with the exception of the "crazy frog" which is the first ringtone to make it into the UK singles chart (and receive several hundred complaints) due to a very aggressive television advertising campaign. The kids apparently love it, but not everyone is happy!
The mobile phone industry is certain to continue evolving, with some research suggesting that one day phones will take the place of credit cards and the remote control. The innovation and level of competition in the mobile music and mobile phone markets can only mean greater choice and lower competitive prices, so sit back and look forward to the exciting surprises the key players in this industry have to offer us!
About the Author: Jo Wintour
Food critic and party animal with a passion for music