Free device workshops at Lincoln locations

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Lincoln, NE-Smartphone advertisement outside of the U.S. Cellular North 27th Street location.

Story and Photo by Jessica Wenzl, News Net Nebraska

U.S. Cellular has been holding device workshops for both customers and non-customers, anyone who has phone service with a different carrier, since 2009 in the Lincoln area. There has been an 80 percent increase in smart phone sales from a year ago at the local carrier.

Verizon Wireless also offers free wireless workshops both online and in their stores. In Lincoln, Verizon hosts a workshop at their South Pointe location once a month.

Device workshops are helpful for anyone who wants to make sure they are getting the most out of their handsets. Associates answer questions and demonstrate common features, such as email access, web browsing, calendar synchronization, browsing for apps and how the device can be personalized to fit their lifestyles.

“Smart phones keep customers connected and organized on-the-go by making it easy to stay on top of schedules and keep in touch with the people and information that is important to them,” said Megan Goeke, the store manager for U.S. Cellular’s two Lincoln locations.

According to Nielsen, a global measurement and information company, reported, 31 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners have a smartphone as of December 2010, and expect smartphones to become the majority by the end of 2011.

eMarketer, a research and analysis on digital marketing and media, expects U.S. sales of smartphones to grow from 67 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011, and become the highest-selling consumer electronic device category.

“We feel like it is more than just a phone,” Goeke said. “Customers should really know how to use their phone and use the services that they pay for.”

Device workshops are offered each month at U.S. Cellular retail stores across Nebraska and typically consist of 4 to 5 people varying in age ranges.

“The younger generations between their 20s-30s tend to ask application questions,” Goeke said. “But the customers in their 40s-50s tend to have basic questions like how to find the alarm clock.”

The workshops are to guide attendees through all of the features and functions of their Android-powered, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices that can enhance their lives.

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