Demand for new phones and Wi-Fi connected products dropped in 2022, a survey found, likely due to economic pressures and pandemic-driven purchase over the last two years.
According to a survey from insurance provider Assurant, about 60% of respondents connected at least one new or replacement device to their Wi-Fi for the first time in 2022, a drop from the 66% who reported doing so in 2021.
“It’s possible that the demand for new connected devices has lessened in the wake of the pandemic-driven purchases of the last two years,” the report noted. “During the past 12 months, repercussions of the pandemic – namely inflation and the global cost of living crisis – has pushed consumers to consider their ability to spend on connected devices.”
Similarly, the survey found that 39% of consumers said they were likely to upgrade their smartphones in the coming year, a decline from 54% in 2021. By age group, 57% of Generation Z respondents said they were likely or extremely likely to upgrade, as did 61% of millennials.
“This suggests that the overall market is becoming saturated, with consumers content to use the devices they have, rather than constantly buying the latest innovations,” the report stated.
In addition, 35% of consumers said they were “highly interested” in buying a refurbished device, and 48% were highly or somewhat likely to pay a hypothetical optional monthly fee that “would contribute to a greener and more responsible tech industry.”
“The practice of collecting used smartphones and refurbishing them so they can be resold is growing in popularity,” the report noted. “What began as a sustainability crusade has evolved into a vibrant and lucrative circular economy that benefits all of its stakeholders.”