7 Ways Covid-19 Has Changed Consumer Behaviour Towards Smartphones
This year, the Covid-19 crisis has caused a lot of financial uncertainty around the UK.
11:58 19 January 2021
The furlough scheme, lost jobs, and uncertainty about the future have led to people around the country taking steps to tighten their purse strings, and when it comes to your smartphone, there are several ways to do this. People who have found themselves at the end of their current smartphone contract or in need of a new handset during the pandemic are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to spending, with traditional two-year contracts less popular and customers developing more money-saving habits with less commitment, to improve their peace of mind about the future.
Whether you’re looking to save money on your current smartphone, or are considering purchasing a new one soon, let’s take a look at how consumer behaviour in regards to smartphones has changed during the pandemic.
Keep Your Current Handset
Marketing strategies might have you believe that you need the latest smartphone release, but the truth is that this is often not necessary at all. This year, with the Covid-19 pandemic leading to more financial insecurity for many people, more consumers have been hanging onto their current smartphone handsets for longer rather than upgrading their contract as soon as they have the chance. If your handset still works well and has some life left in it, avoiding upgrading for as long as possible gives you the chance to save money, avoid being tied into a lengthy contract during these uncertain times, and be kinder to the environment by using your tech for as long as possible.
Opt for a Refurbished Handset
Of course, not everybody will be able to keep their current handset for longer. If you’re looking to get a new smartphone because your current one is broken or difficult to use, the good news is that there are cheaper options than standard contracts that don’t require the same level of commitment, including refurbished handsets. Purchasing a refurbished smartphone is often a much cheaper option compared to getting a brand-new one, and the best part is that as long as you purchase from a reputable manufacturer or seller, the majority of refurbished handsets are like new, although some cheaper ones might have some small cosmetic marks which can usually be covered with a case. Many refurbished handsets are simply smartphones that have been used in the past, and refurbished does not automatically mean that the phone has been damaged or broken previously. For peace of mind, be sure to take the warranty option.
Avoid the Latest Model
While the latest iPhone release might look tempting, the truth is that you will usually pay a lot just to get the most recent version of any smartphone. Once a new smartphone has been released, previous versions will drop in value quite a lot - giving savvy shoppers a bigger chance to save money on a handset that’s still relatively new with a lot of great features. The price of older refurbished handsets will drop even further when a new model is released, giving shoppers even more chance to save money. While the latest smartphone model will always have some new features to enjoy, you will usually find that a lot of the same features are included with the model released previously.
Consider a Second-Hand Handset
While buying second-hand can be hit and miss when it comes to smartphone contracts, keeping some tips in mind to help you make sure that you are making the right choice and getting a good bargain can help. There are several places where you can purchase used smartphone handsets for less including sites like eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace. It is a wise idea to look for a seller who is in your area since this gives you the chance to go and check the handset out before parting with your money. Remember to follow social distancing guidelines if you are going to purchase a used handset from an online seller. Thoroughly check the handset to ensure that it works with your SIM card, the microphone is working, the charging port is working, and that the handset can make and receive calls.
Try a Trade-In
Some sellers will offer you a discount on a new or refurbished handset if you have another smartphone handset to trade-in. Even if your current handset is damaged or broken, you may still be able to earn some money to put towards the cost of your new smartphone with a trade-in. This is often an option that you can take advantage of when purchasing a refurbished handset since the seller can then refurbish your old smartphone and sell it on in their store.
Get a SIM-only Deal
While there are several cheaper options to consider when upgrading your smartphone handset, you’ll also want to know how you can save money on a monthly basis when it comes to paying for your allowance. SIM-only deals are the best way to do this. A SIM-only deal is a plan that includes only a SIM card and a monthly allowance rather than having a handset included. You can sign up for a variety of the best SIM-only deals with options available on a Pay as You Go or a contract-style basis.
Pay as You Go SIM-only deals tend to last for thirty days, giving you the freedom to change the bundle that you purchase on a monthly basis and tailor your expenses to suit your ongoing needs. You can compare SIM-only deals like this from Lebara, where you can get a generous allowance of 1000 UK minutes, 100 international minutes, 1000 UK texts and 2GB of data for just £5, or enjoy absolutely everything unlimited for £35. With no contract or commitment, you can decide how much you want to spend each month easily.
Pay as You Go
Another option that people have been using more often to help keep costs down during the Covid-19 pandemic is Pay as You Go. With more people staying at home and working from home where there is Wi-Fi, you might find that you no longer need as large a smartphone allowance as you have been paying for. Pay as You Go allows you to top up your phone when you need the credit, which might not be as often as usual if you are taking advantage of your home Wi-Fi more often due to the pandemic. Since it’s easier than ever to send messages, make phone calls and even make video calls using your internet connection, this is the best option to choose for if you’re happy to make use of your home Wi-Fi and avoid paying anything towards your phone unless absolutely necessary.
With the Covid-19 pandemic tightening purse strings across the country this year, it’s no surprise that consumer attitudes towards smartphones and smartphone plans are changing. There are various ways to save money on your smartphone, whether you’re looking to reduce your monthly cost for allowance or are in the market for a new handset. This year, we’ve seen an increase in the purchase of second-hand and refurbished handsets, SIM-only plans and Pay as You Go as people reduce their monthly costs and avoid lengthy commitments during a time that’s uncertain for most.