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MainStreet) -- Glued to ears and palms, smartphones have become a ubiquitous possession. Always on and always available, they mean consumers have access to apps, websites and services no matter where they roam.
It is a huge business that has created a war for market share among those who make operating systems (
Apple(AAPL - Get Report),
Research in Motion(RIMM),
UMB Financial(GOOG - Get Report) and
Microsoft(MSFT - Get Report)), sell hardware (
Nokia(NOK - Get Report) and Ericsson) and broker in connectivity (
Verizon(VZ - Get Report) and
AT&T(T - Get Report)).
Beyond data plans and surcharges, your high-tech phone could be depleting your bank account.
Anyone who has bought a smartphone is well aware of what their mobile device cost then, and what it costs to keep the data flowing.
But some costs may not be as easy to quantify or recognize. The upfront cost and ongoing fees are just the beginning of how this growing technology is shrinking your checking account. The following are 10 ways your smartphone addiction is costing you:
Phone envy First, perhaps no other product niche inspires buyer remorse as regularly and quickly as smartphones.
Almost immediately after purchase you'll seem to start hearing about upgrades and even better models that make your phone feel outdated. Have an iPhone 4? Well, get ready to hear all about the new, Holy Grail-like iPhone 5 right around the corner. RIM will seem to announce a new BlackBerry as soon as your company issues one. Your HTC will feel DOA once you hear about the better processor and abundant features that could be yours.
In reality, your "old" phone is probably just fine for what you use it for. But the lure of a bright and shiny new toy is enough to get many to shell out hundreds of dollars and switch carriers almost annually.