How Important is Design Vs Functionality when we talk about Latest Mobile Accessories?

by April 16, 2019 0 comments

In the era of SMART, the consumer is in forever quest to not just buy smarter phones, but also to turn them into smarter cameras, smarter audio systems, smarter TVs, smarter gaming platforms, etc. To make the best out of it, mobile accessories are the key.

Today when you buy a smartphone, you don’t just buy a phone; you also start looking for complementing accessories which can protect, amplify the functionality and make the phone more appealing.

From the basic accessories like chargers, screen guard and phone covers that almost everybody has, to accessories that are a notch higher for the tech-savvy such as Bluetooth compatible headphones, smart-watches to power banks. These allare fast becoming a must-have for smartphone users across the globe.This is simply because these allow the users to utilize the features of their smartphones in the most optimal way.

The journey of Smartphone accessories as we know!

Similar to the journey of a phone and its design enhancement, the journey of mobile accessories and their design has come a long way. Basis their functionality, design and usage smartphone accessories can be broadly categorized as –

  1. Basic or Essential – This necessarily includes most popular and wide-scale accessories such as Mobile cases, screen-protectors, external batteries, chargers, power cables, earphones which are used by all smartphone users, irrespective of the type of handset they use.
  2. Advanced or Luxury – This category mostly caters to people who use medium to high-end mobile phones and comprises of accessories that allow added convenience to the user such as Mobile Skins, Car Mount chargers, Arm Bands, Selfie sticks, Camera Lens Attachments, Bluetooth Headphones & Earbuds, Portable Bluetooth Speakers, Gaming controllers, Pop sockets, NFC Tags.

The basic category mostly emphasizes on function more than design like the phone covers that predominantly protect the phone’s body from scratches, bumps, and scuffs. As the race to capture the market by manufacturers got steep and fiery, cases with added functionalities like coin holders, amplifiers, battery chargers and so on were seen. And now we see some of them as combination of smart design and high-end materials that can be personalized to suit individual taste or preference.

From wired headsets to hassle free earbuds, from stationary charging to portable wireless charging, from bulky speakers to compact, sleek and light-weighted ones, from analogue watches to smart watches, from a brand specific charger to a universal charger, the design and functionality of mobile accessories have only leveled up to match the continuously changing need of the consumers from time to time.

Though the needs of a 14-year-old vary from 70-year-old person, both have a wide range of accessories to choose from.

For people who love using many apps and features on the go but are busy commuting for most part of the day, the battery power becomes an important factor. Hence,the need for fast and portable mobile charging solutions arises where power banks come to their rescue. The user can now freely carry an entire powerhouse of up to 30,000mAhwith the option to charge multiple devices without any glitch.

Now, I would like to focus on the Bluetooth Earphones, Headsets, and earbuds. With major Smartphone brands such as Apple & Google ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack in their latest launches, Bluetooth Earphones & Headsets have become the must-have accessory to listen to music, watch movies, or binge the latest podcast episodes and web series. These earphones and headsets are super wow in terms of design and extraordinarily advanced in terms of functionality such that simple voice commands can help manage calls hands-free.

Additionally, for people who are inclined towards bespoke and premium products Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds are also a great option with innumerable advanced features and attractive, sleek, ultra-light design.

Aesthetics and the accessories

Technology is moving really fast and accessories which were once thought to be the privilege of the rich and elite are becoming mainstream and commonplace. Realizing the fact that the right aesthetic appeal is important to grab consumer’s attention(along with being functional on a rational level),Mobile Accessories market today has well adapted to changing consumer demands and needs, all the while keeping up with the progressing technology and attention to designing detail.

Companies have started to design each accessory with unique functionality and look, that allows mobile phone users to customize their phones and communicate something about their persona and style quotient.

So, function or fashion, or both?

Manufacturers are investing heavily in research and development to develop accessories with innovative technology for creating products with a high degree of differentiation. Proclivity for comfort and ease has been drawing demands for many wireless smartphone accessories, especially headphones and chargers.

Some products die as quickly as they come in the market because of its failed functionality, while some take a hit as they are not appealing or popular enough.

From my own experience, one of the best examples of the aesthetic and functionality boosting the sales of an accessory higher is Spunk – Waterproof Wireless Twins from PTron’s range of Active Sports Accessories. A stunning number of 3000 pieces of these wireless twin earbuds were sold in just 2 days. There are numerous such examples where design and functionality dominate the market of mobile accessories in a world where people have a lot to do in short span of time.

So, the bottom-line is…

Taking a look back, it is evident that designs for mobile phone accessories have come a long way. From just fulfilling the needs, they have become a part of our aesthetics. So, we believe that design and functionality, both play prominent roles in the mobile accessories today. One without the other will fail to impress the end user.

Authored By: Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, PTron

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