Consumers Slow to Adopt High-End Mobile Features

October 28, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Email | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce | Technology | Television | Videogames

Despite? rapidly increasing use of and demand for more sophisticated, feature-filled mobile devices in the US, the higher-end capabilities they afford – such as email, internet access, video and games – remain vastly underused by consumers, according to a survey from Accenture.

The research found that 88% of US consumers never use their cell phones or other mobile devices to watch videos; 84% never use them to send email; and 79% never use them to play games on the go.

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Instead, they are sticking to what they know and are used to, such as watching TV programs on TV, and emailing and accessing the internet from PCs.

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The purpose of the survey, which divided the more than 5,000 adult respondents into three age groups (18-34, 35-54, and 55+), was to identify and quantify spending patterns and usage of more than a dozen consumer electronics devices and applications, including cell phones, personal computers, TVs and the internet.

Additional? findings:

  • 38% of all respondents spent less than $500 to buy consumer-electronics products in the previous year. In this same time period, spending was highest among those 18-34 years old, with 17% of them purchasing between $1,500 and $3,000 of consumer electronics, compared with only 11% of those at least 35+.
  • Four times as many of the 18- to 24-year-olds (a subset of the 18-34 age group) said they spent more than $3,000 on consumer electronics products during the previous year, than did those 55+ (12% and 3%, respectively).
  • The 18- to 24-year-old group also is twice as willing as those 55+ to pay a subscription fee of between $1 and $5 per month for someone to help them by phone to install and configure their consumer electronics products (12% and 6%, respectively).

There also are sharp contrasts in the use of social networking, blogging and online site usage between those in the 18-24 age range and those 55+, the survey found.? The 18- to 24-year-olds were more than 10 times more likely than those over age 55 to use social networking sites (73% vs. 7%) and seven times more likely to write blogs or contribute to online sites (35% versus 5%).

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“These survey results point to important missed business opportunities in the mobile handset and social networking arenas,” said Kumu Puri, a senior executive with Accenture’s Electronics & High Tech practice. “Clearly, many consumers are not widely embracing higher-end cell phone applications. And the vast majority of older Americans, in particular, are not inspired by the social networking phenomenon.”

About the survey: Internet-based market research company Survey.com – on behalf of Accenture – queried 5,047 US adults in December 2007 to identify the types of consumer electronics respondents own and how they use them, as well as to better understand the technology lifestyles of respondents. All respondents were at least age 18, and 95% have at least a high school education. The data were weighted to reflect the US Census makeup.

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