The typical U.S. mobile phone user spends about $60 on accessories over the life of the handset, according to a new study by ABI Research. Phone chargers, protective cases, batteries and memory cards are the most commonly purchased items.
Other popular accessories included hands-free kits, headsets, and cosmetic enhancements. (A facelift for you phone?) Hands-free gear could get an indirect boost from pending federal legislation that would require states to outlaw the sending of text messages and email by drivers or face losing a portion of their highway funding.
The ABI study found that age was a decisive factor in the popularity of phone-related equipment. People under 40 were more likely to buy batteries, data connection cables and protective cases at the time of the phone's purchase, suggesting that the demographic owns a more expensive, media-focused handset or smartphone.
The research firm estimated the wireless accessories market worldwide to be worth a whopping $63 billion in 2009, with the retail outlets of the major mobile providers the biggest beneficiaries in the U.S. Apple has certainly capitalized on demand for extras to outfit its signature device, offering hundreds of iPhone accessories from $20 phone cables to $300 Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.
The ABI survey, conducted in July 2009, asked 1000 adult consumers which of the many available accessories they acquired at the time the handset was purchased, and where they sourced the accessories they bought later.