Seven in 10 (71%) US consumers say they do not plan on purchasing a 4G smartphone this year, according to a June 2011 Retrevo Gadgetology Report. Almost one-third (30%) cite cost of the data plan, while another one in five (22%) say 4G performance is not worth the cost.
In addition, 19% say they don’t know enough about 4G to purchase a smartphone using the 4G network.
Many Smartphone Owners Mistakenly Think They Have 4G
In addition to consumer 4G resistance based on price concerns and lack of knowledge, many current smartphone owners mistakenly think they already own a 4G phone. Although the Apple iPhone does not offer a 4G version yet, one-third (34%) of iPhone owners say they already have a 4G phone.
Similarly, 24% of Blackberry owners think they own a 4G phone, even though Blackberry producer RIM also does not yet offer 4G connectivity. At least some of the 29% of Android owners saying they have a 4G phone could be answering correctly, as Android 4G phones like the HTC Evo 4G or Samsung Infuse 4G have been available for some time.
4G Effect on iPhone Loyalty Low
The impact of lacking 4G connectivity appears to be having a relatively low effect on loyalty among iPhone owners. Forty percent say they will buy the next iPhone anyway if it doesn’t have 4G, and another 21% say they will consider buying the next iPhone with or without 4G, meaning a combined six in 10 (61%) will at least potentially buy a new iPhone if it lacks 4G.
Owners of Androids and Blackberries are far less likely to buy the next iPhone if it lacks 4G. Only 8% of Android owners will buy the next iPhone if it doesn’t have 4G, while 12% will consider buying an iPhone with or without 4G. Blackberry owners are more open to the iPhone than Android owners, with respective response rates of 23% and 18%.
Nielsen: 3 in 10 Consumers Plan 4G Purchase
Data released in January 2011 by The Nielsen Company corroborates Retrevo findings. Almost three in 10 US consumers surveyed by Nielsen said they were planning on buying a 4G device within the next 12 months. The survey also reinforces Retrevo findings of consumer confusion regarding 4G. It shows about one in five consumers are not aware of 4G; of the remaining four that have heard of 4G, only two claim to understand it.
About the Data: The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo.com. The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in June 2011, by an independent panel. The sample size was more than 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the US.