Why smartphones need smart marketing, Analysys Mason report

Consumer survey highlights the challenges operators face promoting new services and technologies

Almost half (46%) of mobile phone users that have not already bought a smartphone do not feel they have the motivation to upgrade, according to new research published by Analysys Mason.

The high price of smartphones and the perceived lack of need for functionality are contributors to consumer apathy around the latest handsets, according to telecoms, media and technolgy (TMT) specialists Analysys Mason.

The research, released as part of Analysys Mason’s report The Connected Consumer Survey 2012, is based on a survey of 7485 consumers in 6 European countries and the USA. The survey covers a wide range of topics and issues related to the adoption and usage of, and attitudes towards, all telecoms services, including fixed and mobile broadband, fixed and mobile voice, and TV and video services.

As well as some degree of public indifference towards smartphones, the report points to confusion for consumers about different cellular network generations and where their handset fits into the picture.

For example, ambiguous marketing by some mobile network operators and the numbering of Apple’s iPhone models  has resulted in 46% of iPhone 4 users thinking that they are already using a 4G-capable handset.

“Consumers are, for the most part, ill-informed about what 4G is and what it enables,” argues Martin Scott, the author of the report and a Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason.

“Mobile network operators’ ability to articulate the benefits of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 4G to the average consumer will have a significant impact on take-up of these technologies.”

Other key insights from the survey include:

  • Consumers are connected for ever-increasing amounts of time, and streaming ever-higher amounts of data while connected. The average amount of media and telecoms time that the survey’s respondants are exposed to is 8.8 hours per day, and 91% of tablet users, for example, now stream video through their device.
  • Laptops now have higher penetration rates (64%) than music systems (54%), such as stereos. This trend reflects a dramatic change in how consumers are listening to music.
  • 12% of fixed broadband subscribers would like to change provider in the next 6 months. Customer service, rather than speed, reliability or even price, is the most-important factor for these individuals.
  • 27% of respondants now use some form of software VoIP, and Skype holds a 78% share.
  • More than 67% of respondants take their mobile phone overseas. They are mostly used for text messaging  when abroad (by 49% of consumers), but use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging services and Wi-Fi is increasing.
  • The pay-TV market is somewhat saturated: Analysys Mason predicts that pay-TV household penetration will increase by only 4% in Europe in the next five years, growing from 53% currently to 57% by 2016.

The Connected Consumer Survey 2012 is available for purchase at GBP5500. Contact us at web_enquiries@analysysmason.com.

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