This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The 5 Dumbest Things in the Smartphone World

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The smartphone market has become one of the world's largest markets, so it shouldn't be surprising that finding insane things in it is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Here are five of the lowest-hanging fruits:

1. Carrier contracts: This is as much the U.S. consumer's fault as is it the carriers' fault.

The U.S. consumer is apparently incapable of doing basic math. The consumer takes a $150-$450 subsidy up-front, for the benefit of paying $1,080 or so in higher monthly charges over two years ($45 in monthly savings multiplied by 24 months). In the meantime, the consumer has a device that's locked to one carrier, with zero flexibility.

Basically, the U.S. consumer is so stupid so as to look at the Day 1 price but not consider what he or she is really paying over two years. I could draw a political analogy, but we're talking about the 47% here... or perhaps a much bigger number: Give me free stuff today; who cares about what it will really cost me over the life of the agreement.

You can buy your Android, iOS or other device for cash up-front and save mostly $45 per month -- or perhaps even more -- but the U.S. consumer is either too uneducated or to poorly proficient in basic math to bother. When I see this, it's small wonder our society is drowning in debt and irrationality. Very discouraging.

2. Tiny batteries: Regardless of platform -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report), Google (GOOG - Get Report), Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), BlackBerry -- I believe 99% of people are complaining about crummy battery life. Depending on how you use your device, most people are getting five to 10 hours of battery life. That's dramatically unacceptable. Battery life needs to at least double in order for customer satisfaction to be reasonable.

On the other hand, I believe perhaps 1% of smartphone buyers complain their device isn't thin enough.

Okay, so what do we have here? 99% of people complain about poor battery life, 1% complain that their device is too thick. Seems to me that every smartphone maker should focus on adding a couple of millimeters in thickness in exchange for doubling the battery life.

This is a classic case of manufacturers totally misjudging the customer base. There is some sort of collective disease among all the smartphone makers here, force-feeding the consumers too-thin devices when they would rather have a slightly thicker device with double the battery life.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.64 -0.11%
GOOG $698.21 0.75%
MSFT $50.61 1.48%
T $39.10 0.72%
FB $118.57 0.84%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs