162 minutes a day. That’s how much time the average Indian spends on his or her smartphone, according to internet analyst Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins research firm.
Here’s some quick math:
162 minutes is 8.8 percent of your day. Or roughly 7 minutes every hour.
162 minutes is 19 hours a week. Almost a whole day, every week.
162 minutes is 985.5 hours a year, or 41 days a year.
How much money are you willing to spend for a pleasant 41 days every year? You probably spend a lot more than Rs 50,000 on a much shorter vacation.
And yet, most of us (this author included) baulk at the notion of spending that kind of money on a smartphone. Maybe it is time to rethink the value we associate with a smartphone.
It’s Not a Linear Equation
The above math was an extreme example. The number of minutes you spend on something or the number of times you use something should not always equate to what you’re willing to pay for it. By that logic, most Indians would be bankrupt because of the incredible cost of tea.
However, sometimes we do not appreciate the value of a device fully. For me, that has been the case with smartphones. Spending upwards of Rs 30,000 on a phone has never entered my mind. But if I were to really assess how big a part of my life a smartphone is, maybe I would change my mind.
As an analogy, let us take food. You can buy quality produce or you can buy bottom-of-the-barrell produce. You can use rich oil or you can use cheap oil. You can eat at a good restaurant or you can eat at a roadside stall. Eventually, as you realise the amount of impact food has on your health and lifestyle, you start making more expensive choices.
The amount of money you are willing to spend on a smartphone requires a similar realisation.
What You Get In Expensive Phones
Not all high-end smartphones are equal. You will still get some not-so-good products at that price. But the chances are fewer, and you can generally rely on the quality of smartphones like the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, the LG G Flex 2, and others.
All of these smartphones aim to make sure they don’t fail you when you need them most. They are not infallible—these are still electronic devices and they will have some problems. But chances are, they will have fewer problems than other phones.
One other thing is that these flagship handsets are usually decked out with all the bells and whistles you could want in most phones. Specification comparisons shows that the price gap between these super-expensive phones and mid-range handsets is huge, but that is only when you are looking at the specifications superficially. Often, you will have hardware or software in the expensive phones that is not available in cheaper models, or seems similar but is vastly superior on closer inspection.
Still, Rs 50,000 for Just a Phone?
The question is how much you use your smartphone. Till a few years back, you knew that a high-end computer cost Rs. 50,000 or more and were willing to pay for it because of how much you used it.
If you use your smartphone just as much now, then is it not worth the same amount?