Reports of Mobile Phone Death Greatly Exaggerated

This recent article in Inc. predicted the death of the mobile phone. The author states that, “…by 2025, voicebots will become so prevalent, so powerful, and so useful in all areas of business and our personal lives that we won’t need smartphones anymore.” An eye-catching statement for sure; that said, it’s still highly debatable whether voice technology will replace screens and mobile phones. Let’s look at the facts.

Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the basic design of a mobile phone has remained the same. However, in the past year or two we’ve seen significant advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s very common now to speak to your Apple or Android device like it’s a person and it will provide a voice reply with on-screen choices. This technology has spread to new devices within your home, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. These devices can perform many of the same features as your phone, such as playing music on demand and telling you about the weather.

But is this enough to call for the end days for mobile phones within the next seven to eight years? It’s hard to believe.

What is clear is that, as technology continues to evolve and consumer expectations shift, companies—be it a phone manufacturer or retailer—must adapt and adopt that technology or face extinction (we recently wrote a post on this very topic: the future of retail and how technology will have to play a huge role). The point is, it’s very possible that the portable rectangular devices we keep glued to our hands will be very different in a few years and will serve a different purpose. What that purpose will be is hard to predict.

What’s easy to predict is that there will be a gluttony of used phones in the secondary market in the coming years. It is estimated there are 4.6 billion cell phones in use throughout the world; that’s two phones for every three people. As technology continues to accelerate, and new hardware replaces old, the question becomes, “What do we do with all those old phones?” The answer to that can be rather simple; there will always be an audience for older technology: slow adapters, customers who can only afford deeply discounted devices, repair shops, parts harvesters, and so on. There will always be people and companies looking to purchase second-market mobile devices.

This is where B-Stock’s solution comes in handy: our web-based platform allows cell phone manufacturers, wireless providers, and buyback companies to move large volumes of devices directly to secondary market buyers who are interested in devices across all makes, models and conditions.

To learn more about how B-Stock is revolutionizing the $17 billion mobile phone secondary market, we invite you to read, Rise of the Mobile Secondary Market. You can also check out our 10+ marketplaces dedicated to mobile.

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Posted in: Our Blog