According to France Telecom’s CEO Stephane Richard, European consumers are increasingly avoiding the lure of high-end smartphones as the cost and rapid turnover of technology puts them off.
“We are in a period of changing consumer behavior,” he said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York, adding that there are fewer shoppers in search of the latest and greatest gadget, with more of them seeking lower prices on wireless service.
France Telecom is noticing this trend across its European footprint, where customers are switching networks, but often keep their old handset and opting for SIM-only deals.
Richard went on to say that even the upcoming launch of Apple’s next iPhone (5S) may not bring users back in stores. Sales may be muted by comparison to previous years that had seen long queues outside stores on the launch day.
“There are fewer early adopters, and probably with the next release of the iPhone this will be evident,” he concluded.