We are happy to announce a guest post from Dylan Chadwick, a writer and marketer at Fueled.com.
Since the dawn of time, humans have always sought new and exciting ways to accomplish their daily lot making life easier and testing out anything new and exciting. That’s why gadgets, from the wheel clear down to the smartphone, have always been popular, particularly when new to the market. But are they all worth the cost? No. Not all of them. Here are three of the most popular products people are wasting their hard-earned money on every day.
1. Mobile device insurance/warranties – For a new device owner, these services may seem like the responsible thing to do. For a small monthly fee, usually around $10 a month according to iResQ, your smartphone or tablet is covered in case of damage or any other unfortunate scenario. Sort of.
Image Source: Gizbot.com
See, while these warranties proclaim all-inclusive coverage, there’s usually a small-print list of damages they won’t cover, including cracked screens or anything resembling water damage. Of course, cracked screens are one of the most frequent damages a smart phone will sustain in its lifetime and that water damage thing? It’s determined by a tiny sticker in the phone’s guts that changes color when it comes in contact with water. Technically speaking, the moisture in your bathroom could cause the sticker to change. Even if your damage is covered, there’s usually a stiff deductible to pay in the $100-200 range. Ultimately, and as noted by the technicians at iResQ, by the time you’ve paid the monthly fees and the deductible, you’ll have already shelled out paid double what the repair would actually cost.
2. E-readers – With eBooks on the rise, and paper books slowly becoming a fading memory in the collective consciousness, E-Readers like the Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Kobo have become popular purchases. In their initial run , these things were a great investment loaded with features and appeal. Nowadays though, when virtually any computer or tablet can double as an E-reader, are they really necessary? The Kindle app is free and compatible with Android, iOS, and almost any other type of operating system which means that (besides direct competitors like Nook), you can get Kindle E-reading capability on any one of your devices. Still, Amazon continues to sell E-readers and people are still buying.
Image Source: Wired.com
For some consumers, an E-reader is a less expensive alternative to a name brand tablet, albeit one that offers less functionality and features. Price differences accounted for, shrewd consumers should still consider the tech-specs of a E-readers vs. tablets when making a decision. Tablets can run E-reader mobile apps in color, as opposed to the black and white of the average E-reader, a useful advantage for cookbooks and other magazines, as noted by USA Today. Tablets are also a platform for checking email, watching movies, surfing the net, taking photos and any number of limitless app capabilities, a veritable swiss-army technical device that streamlines multiple processes into one convenient package. While E-readers certainly have a market, those concerned with maximizing their device economy and functionality would be far better suited with a tablet.
3. Fitness trackers – Fitness trackers, like FitBit and Nike’s Fuelband, are supposed to encourage users to eat healthier and lead more active lifestyles by keeping a daily record of calories intake, calories burned and a user interface that allows for personal goal setting. Granted, these are all valid features, but according to The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the consumers most likely to purchase and use a fitness tracker are those who are already fit and healthy.
Image Source: Lephysique.com
Fitness trackers also sport hefty price tags and must be connected to other devices to work, suggesting that the device’s primary demographic is the young and affluent. It’s one of those paradoxes in which older people and those who struggle socioeconomically are in greater need of these devices, but are the least able to afford them or use them to their full capability. Most troubling of all, is a Price Water Coopers report (cited by JAMA) suggesting that that over half of the users quit using them and of this figure, one third of those quit within just 6 months of purchase.
We know that smart technology benefits us, enhances the quality of our experiences and empowers us in unprecedented ways, but a critical eye and a careful consideration of economics, ensures you’ll get the absolute most from all its purported gizmos, bells and whistles.
Dylan Chadwick is a writer and marketer at Fueled.com, an award winning mobile app design and development house based in New York, Chicago and London. “At Fueled, we don’t just build apps; with teams of designers, developers and strategists, we create visually stunning products that redefine the technical boundaries of today’s mobile development standards. We’ve built award-winning iPhone, iPad and Android apps used by millions of people for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to up and coming startups including Barney’s, Coca Cola, UrbanDaddy, JackThreads and MTV. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of usability, stability and design in every project that we touch.”