Mobile phones are today often used to upload your favorite photographs from a trip to Europe, message your friends in North America, video-call your family while backpacking across Asia and play videogames while sipping ice tea on a beach in Australia.
However, on a regular basis, everyday people find themselves upgrading their phones and throwing their old ones in a desk drawer next to their bed.
A growing number of jobs are starting to rely on instant communication which often requires internet access. Most prominently are the jobs which involve live coverage, such as journalism, and social media agency work. As a result of this, people will often upgrade their phones to ensure they are using the best technology available.
According to a new study published by the research firm Gartner, 50 percent of the employers will require their employees to supply their own smartphones and tablets for work needs.
Data research released by GSMA Intelligence also indicated that by 2020, half of the world’s population will be using mobile devices to access the internet, forecasting that around 3.8 billion people worldwide will be logged on to the internet through mobile devices.
The Egyptian market is very distant from the changes which are slowly brewing worldwide.
A report issued by the Ministry of Communications in November 2014 shows a fair growth in internet access via mobile devices that reached 7.2 percent, with a total number of internet mobile users that reached 20.2 million out of a total 44.5 million internet users in Egypt.
The figures seem to be a natural flow of events after the 4.05 percent growth in mobile subscriptions which happened in 2013, which concluded at a sum of 97.47 million subscribers in Egypt. This growth developed in parallel to the decline of land-line subscribers by 19.2 percent, to reach 6.84 million in September 2013.
The changing mindset towards the means of communication caused several obvious repercussions.
As the smartphone market exponentially grows, it encompasses two main genres of users. The first is that of the early adopters who always seek to upgrade their devices and catch up with the latest trends and the late majority or laggards who may take more time before catching up with the latest in technology.
One of the most convenient platforms for both users is classified websites, such as dubizzle.com.
“Before the rise of classifieds, I used to upgrade my devices, whether phones or computers through the available platform back then which was the forums,” says Karim Ali, product manager at dubizzle.com Egypt. “When you’re younger, you can’t ask your parents for money every time you want to buy a new gadget. That’s why I always sold my older devices to buy newer ones.”
Among various items available for sale on dubizzle.com, it witnessed a gush of search keywords for mobile phones. In 2014, Samsung generated a 600K search load on the classified website, in addition to 402K for HTC, and 300K for Sony.
Over 250K mobile phones varying between new and used phones are available on dubizzle.com, adding up to a sum worth of 1 billion EGP.
According to Rachel Botsman in an article on collaborative consumption, classified websites among other players in the growing peer-to-peer economy, are driving more decentralizing of market grip from institutions to individuals.
“The difference between classifieds and e-commerce is that we are only a platform that connects individuals,” explains Ali of dubizzle.com, adding that “No transactions take place online. They all take place offline.”
Amid this fast paced technology market, it may sound wise to make a bit of extra earnings by selling the unused devices which linger around idly, and at the same time be ascertained that what you don’t need will come in quite handy for someone else.