U.S. spending on cellphones rises

Nov. 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM
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YONKERS, N.Y., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The average U.S. household spent more than $1,500 on phones in 2012, an increase of 7 percent from the previous year, Consumer Reports said Thursday.

The consumer products research company said the $1,500, which includes spending on hardware and on phone carrier services, is partly the result of an increasing number of consumers moving from basic phones to smartphones.

As of 2012, about 70 percent of respondents to Consumer Reports survey indicated they owned smartphones. In 2010, a survey found 50 percent of magazine subscribers indicated they were smartphone owners.

The figures were taken from a July survey that included 9,774 responses from CR subscribers.

The magazine suggested consumers "Haggle for the phone."

"Most shoppers don't think to negotiate for a lower cellphone price, but 17 percent of survey respondents took a shot and over one quarter of them were successful at it," Consumer Reports said.

The company also suggested consumers exercise restraint before agreeing to an upgrade. "Unless you're totally fed up with your current phone," stick with what you've got, Consumer Reports said.

The company also said "think twice about insurance or an extended warrant. Insurance or a warranty "can easily cost $500 to $600 ... but only 15 percent of Consumer Reports readers bought a new phone because their old one broke and only 2 percent bought one because their phone was lost or stolen," Consumer Reports said.

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