How many years does the partnership between you and your mobile phone last? Before I got my latest one, I had one year and prior to that, it was three years.
Hong Kong has 11,705,058 mobile phone subscribers as of June 2009. Compared to its population of 7,018,636 (2008), there seems an oversupply of phone in the territory. There could even be more, as transit passengers, tourists or short-term visitors may not be included in the counting.
/>Exploring this apparent glut of phones to owners:
One peculiar habit of mobile phone ownership is that of Filipino domestic helpers who find it more practical (and affordable) to use two phones. One will be used for local calls and the other to receive messages from relatives in the Philippines who can send cheaper SMS. Another one is that younger people in Hong Kong tend to replace phones too soon. A survey by Friends of the Earth among 1,045 people aged between 15 and 35, revealed rather wasteful habit.
/>* 65 percent admitted having disposed of their phones less than a year after buying them.
/>* Over 50 percent of these people said they did so because their old one was damaged.
/>* 18 percent said they changed phones because they wanted a newer model.
/>You might think this is helping the market of second-hand hand phone business, but the rate at which phones are discarded is far faster than the demand for second-hand phones.
/>A surface scratch or battery defect are among the excuses younger people use to replace their phones. Vanity, peer pressure and insecurity that a friend has a more popular phone could be another. One feels out of fashion if she doesn’t have the latest model. I bet it takes shorter time to replace a phone than to learn all of its features.
/>Should we blame Nokia, Samsung or Sony-Ericsson for producing too many new models at a short period of time?