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Recession and the Cell Phone Industry February 27, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Uncategorized.
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I was reading this article in CIO magazine this morning and an less than obvious question popped into my mind. The article reviews a Texas university that has started a program that puts a Apple iPhone or Touch in all it student’s hands to access university resources. Part of the implementation includes a policy that students can upgrade their device after two years.

Now, I am of the believe that a large part of this recession is due to the fact that people are finally becoming aware of how wasteful we have been. Whether it was “keeping up with the Joneses,” keeping up with new technology (Moore’s Law), the economic push to use “cheap credit” or whatever reason, in America people have come to just buy and buy. People had no problem running up huge credit debts, purchasing things they most likely did not need. All this wasted purchasing produced lots of physical (and especially electronic) trash. With this recession, this consumerism has given way to a more conservative approach. Not sure if their jobs are going to be there in weeks or months, we are only buying what we need.

We are in a tremendous recession that is changing the way many people have view basic purchases. And in this information age, we are starting to take cell phones for granted… how many people do you know (over the age of 10) that don’t have a cell phone? (Yes, there are several phones on the market for school age children even.)

Cell phones appear to have become a need, rather than a want. So, it would seem that cell phones have become near “recession-proof.” And given the common two-year contract period with most cell phone providers, people generally get a new one every two years. To me, and I am certainly included in the list of people who do this, it would seem that this is a huge waste of environmental resources.

I wonder how this will play out over time. Will we stop wasting energy upgrading, will we do a better job of recycling old equipment, will contract policies change, will the environmental damage we are doing affect the Moore’s Law of progress? I can’t wait to see.

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Comments»

1. Change - February 28, 2009

So yeah, I totally agree with this about taking things for granted and people wanting things that they can’t afford…believe me I’ve learned the hard way about all this and now if I can’t afford it with cash…well, I don’t get it…

Honestly, the simple life is a much easier path for me…

And about taking cell phones for granted because I have a friend who has a daughter that has a G1 with all the bells and whistles but never can seem to call her mom or dad…

Needless to say with what went down this weekend…I think she will be rethinking that…but for now, she won’t have a phone at all…

2. Cell Phone Downfall « Some Waldman’s Blog – Finding Balance in the Flood of Information - March 12, 2010

[…] phone, smart phones, upgrade, Verizon, YouTube trackback I wrote about cell phones almost exactly one year ago. And now, here I am after a year trying to figure out how I am going to handle the end of my […]


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