Wireless, CE Shoppers Don’t Necessarily Want More Choices

January 28, 2008

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Nearly 6 in 10 online shoppers of consumer electronics devices (59%) say their wireless carrier provides enough content and service choices, and among those saying so half also say there were in fact too many choices, according to a Compete Inc. study.

Compete analyzed consumers’ demand for market openness around wireless devices and consumer electronics – i.e., third-party developers have open access, and devices and applications are compatible among all networks.

The study examines consumers’ current awareness of open-access developments and predicts how upcoming industry shifts will affect their shopping and buying behavior.

Among the key findings from the study:

  • Wireless shoppers can’t find what they want. In the past two years, 32% of respondents reported increasing difficulty finding the right mobile phone.


  • Wireless shoppers are not aware of available services. Of the consumers that want more features and services, the majority requested applications such as GPS and internet connectivity, which are already available.
  • Consumers are unaware of open access options. The majority of respondents rank device price (75%) and customer service (69%) above flexibility when asked about the most important mobile phone features.
  • CE device shoppers are ready for connectivity. More than 50% of laptop and GPS shoppers are very interested in devices that enable wide area connectivity.

“With the iPhone launch in 2007, we saw the wireless industry make an initial move away from its legacy of carrier controlled devices and services,” said Adam Guy, Compete’s general manager of telecommunications and media. “With carriers beginning to embrace open access, they will be able to focus on marketing their products and services to the masses while outsourcing niche device and content development to third parties.”

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