Ever since mobile devices transitioned from being a convenient accessory to a necessary, everyday connection to all aspects of modern life, one factor has remained constant. If you want a new phone – at least a top-tier new phone – you have to get a new contract to go with it…or pay an excessive premium. This price was always set just high enough to discourage most people from choosing that “option.”

But now, one cell phone company has changed the paradigm. Any time a consumer wants the latest and greatest handset, it’s right there for them. No strings attached – more or less.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, said this is a real game changer. “Of course, there are some particulars in the fine print, but the basic implication has created an entirely new perception of consumer opportunity.”

Why the latest move in the cell phone wars is a real game changer

Torossian said this new development has changed the mobile device market in at least three ways.

Created a new expectation

Even with the initial marketing push, without fully understanding the offer, people have embraced the idea of no longer deferring fulfillment in the form of a new electronic gadget. Now that the idea has been introduced in a tangible promise, people will be expecting “their” provider to follow suit.

Introduced a new contract benefit

Consumers are being bombarded with this new feature through every imaginable media. Now, whenever any mobile device consumer shops for a new device, he or she will be looking for this option on the offered contract. Even if that provider does not currently offer it. How long before other companies follow suit?

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Offered a new reason for brand loyalty

For those already with the company in question, this offer creates another reason to continue to be a “loyal” customer. Why should they move to another provider for “fewer” options? Even if they don’t plan to upgrade, this feature still works like an added benefit because of the perception of opportunity should the consumer ever decide to take advantage of it. Sort of like having a sunroof in a rainy climate. You might want it “some day.” This hope is a powerful motivator.

It will be interesting to see which other major competitors make the next move. Chances are they will raise the bar even higher.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.