Take a trip to your mobile carrier’s official store and in addition to phones you’ll find no shortage of cases, docking stations and other third-party and after market products. All that extra stuff adds up too. This week, Media Post reported that the typical U.S. mobile handset owner would spend about $60 on accessories. Among the accessories are chargers, carrying cases, batteries and of course memory cards. These are some of the products listed as popular after market add-ons according to a new study by ABI Research.
Phone owners under 40 were also the ones most likely to buy data connection cables, protective cases and other phone-related accessories. This study suggests that this demographic owns a more expensive, media-focused handset or smartphone.
Of course some of the accessories come in waves. As I’ve previously reported, the iPhone has spawned a cottage industry that is now anything but cottage. But in the long run, the iPhone hasn’t changed that much to encourage continued growth in this sector, at least compared to what the competition has to offer. Apple iPhone owners can often upgrade their handsets, but keep the accessories.
A move from a BlackBerry Curve to the newly released BlackBerry Tour will mean a new protective case at the very least. And given that even feature phones tend to change shape with disturbing regularity, there seems to be no end in sight for most after market products. However, there is one product area that could see a shrinking market.
This of course is going to be chargers. Phone makers are moving to a standardized universal charger and this means that you only should have to buy a car adapter and a backup charger once. And going forward, losing one won’t require you to seek out the exact model. But for the rest of the accessories, it is going to remain a side business for a long time to come.
Nokia is so Money
This week mobile phone maker Nokia announced that it will launch Nokia Money, a basic financial service for mobile handsets. This will allow consumers to send money, pay for goods and services, pay for bills or just recharge prepaid sim cards on the handsets.
The technology is meant to essentially replace banking—something that would be very desirable to billions of people around the world who have no access to normal banking. Nokia made it clear that the necessary client would be pre-installed on some handsets, but that users would also be able to download it to their current Nokia phones. The first Money services could be rolled out early next year. The company will be demonstrating this technology at Nokia World, which is being held next week in Stuttgart, Germany.
Qwest Communications Hanging Up
If you’re one of the remaining Qwest Communications International wireless customers you’ll have until Halloween to make calls, and after that you’ll have to find a new carrier. The company has confirmed that it will switch off service to its remaining 763,000 wireless phone customers in Colorado and 13 other states where it currently operates.