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New buying trends change smartphone ownership stats

Consumers may soon be selling their phones after as little as one year, filling the market with advanced hardware.

The way in which customers buy and use their mobile devices is hugely important in the content creation space. This is due to the fact that physical documents are now an anachronism and accessing digital files through PCs is too restrictive for many of today's viewers. They want to look at websites and informational materials through their personal devices, and companies that don't give them the ability to do so may find themselves behind the times. The need to know what kinds of screens are present among the populace means mobile content developers should pay attention to device shipment numbers and usage patterns.

The new face of the smartphone market
The way in which users purchase devices has changed quite a bit since the iPhone jump-started the current smartphone age in 2007. Once, only a few consumers had access to this powerful hardware. Falling component prices and incentives from cell service providers shifted the landscape and enabled a much more populous group of users. As CNET recently reported, the next step may be used devices. And these are not very old devices being traded in after years of service. The source explained that there may soon be a booming market for devices just one or two years behind the release schedule.

When mobile content developers are deciding what type of devices the target audience has, it may now be in their best interests to assume individuals who could not previously afford high-end hardware or didn't want to part with a large sum of money will have access to such devices. CNET reported the old model of cellphone sales involved buyers outside of the developed markets where the devices were traded in. Now, consumers may be buying Samsung or Apple hardware a mere one year behind the flagship phones, all within the same technologically saturated markets.

The scale of the used phone trade is impressive. CNET, citing Gartner statistics, noted the space will be worth $14 billion within two years.

The numbers could be very promising for companies hoping to create powerful or visually rich content. After all, they point to a prevalence of hardware that is only slightly behind the cutting edge, with good screens and capable browser software. Wider access to these effective features opens the door to good-looking materials that get across visual flair. Next, it will be up to leaders at these organizations to develop projections of which operating systems and manufacturers are leading the secondary market.

What about tablets?
With the smartphone market headed toward a new paradigm, what might happen to the tablet space? Some of the devices being re-sold are likely large-screen hardware that may conflict with tablet ownership. According to IDC, that is one of the problems facing the tablet space. The research organization pointed out that instead of iPads, consumers are interested in large-screen iPhones. If they are adamant about getting a big screen, they may just buy a Mac. The source even noted that the launch of the latest iPad was weakened by more desire for upgraded iPhones. With those phones possibly destined for resale at a low price, content producers should probably expect plenty of them to pop up among their customer bases.

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