As smartphones get smaller, lighter, bigger-screened and just more amazing, it’s time to ask: Is your smartphone worth more than your car? Not an old banger, but a middle of the road newish car? And will it be worth more than your house eventually? Yes, your house?
It’s not because a top-range smartphone model will set you back way north of £700, and the next generations could well exceed that figure.
It’s simply because of what the integrated-lifestyle smartphone has become that makes it not such a daft question about being worth more than your car. Or eventually your house.
Just Who Owns What Exactly?
We reported in MBF Blogs in September 2012, that the value of a music collection on an electronic device can run into thousands. While there is dispute about who owns that collection after you are dead (you may only have borrowed it rather than purchased it), the fact is that around 3500 (typically held on a 16GB smartphone) tunes are worth a tidy sum.
Most advisers recommend insurance as a minimum for smartphones, but cloud storage is also a must. Some broadband providers are now waking up and offering some free cloud storage as part of their packages.
Apple’s iTunes sales of apps and music stay on the user account just in case the device is lost, damaged or stolen. Some specialist ‘download insurance’ is becoming available, according to telecoms experts at uSwitch.com. Ernest Doku who described it in the Daily Telegraph, back on 29 September 2012, reckoned that many people are already covered, albeit unwittingly, by their house contents insurance, while some handset insurance may cover for loss of data.
More Than Music
However, your phone is more than a music storage-player. It’s a game console, a personal computer, a mobile payment system, a camera, a status symbol and a telephone. It gives you power in shopping with personalised ads, QR codes and bargain searching. It is your diary, planner, timepiece, maps, emails, texts and photo album.
It is actually fast emerging as the single most valuable bit of kit you can own and operate. It’s the key to your work, home and social lives in a way that has never been possible till now. It is guestimated that 15% of adults live in a mobile-only household.
To insure against loss by theft or damage is one thing. But what about virus attack, accidental damage, illegal jamming and data lost from the device? They are all separate mishaps that need insuring against separately.
And then, do you want a replacement new smartphone, if yours is gone? Or a replacement refurbished one? Do you want to pay monthly, yearly? Do you accept an excess in the hope of keeping the premium down? Do you know how much you’ll be charged the following year after one claim? Two claims?
There are almost as many decisions to make as in buying, running and servicing a car. And as your entire family life’s history will eventually be on your gizmo, it could one day be worth more than your house.
Just How Valuable Is Your Web Data? 14 December 2011
You’re Never Alone With a Phone, 1 November 2011
Will Your Digital Afterlife Make a Good Novel After You Are Dead? 10 September 2012
50 Ways to Use a Smartphone, 8 August 2012
Firefox’s Wily Intervention in Smartphone Wars, 17 July 2012
It’s Never Too Late to Hop on a Cloud, 2 May 2012