Sunday, February 10, 2008

Consumers prefer SmartPhones

According to a ChangeWave Consumer Mobile Phone Survey, a huge number of consumers are upgrading their phones to more-advanced smartphone models. Research In Motion and Apple appear to be the primary beneficiaries of this new paradigm shift towards smartphones. Apple iPhone is now the top choice among consumers planning to buy a new mobile phone in the next six months (up one point to 17%), but second-place RIM has the most momentum (up three points to 15%).

Apple also maintained its big industry lead in customer satisfaction compared with the other major manufacturers: 72% of respondents having reported that they are very satisfied with their iPhone. RIM is a strong second with 55% having said that they are very satisfied.

What about Motorola?

In short, Motorola is doomed. Motorola who used to dominate has declined another four points in terms of future planned purchases, continuing an inevitable slide that began immediately after Apple CEO Steve Jobs' initial announcement regarding the iPhone. As the above chart shows, Motorola's share of future planned purchases has plummeted during the past 12 months and its highly unlikely that it will rise again in the short to mid-term and maybe not even in the long term.

So, its really not a bad news for Motorola to finally call it a day for its mobile division and focus on other areas. Problem is who is going to buy them...

A further sign that the US economy is slowing down is reflected through the weaker overall consumer mobile phone buying environment below. Only 23% of respondents said they'll purchase or upgrade their cell phone during the next six months. That's three points less than at any other point during the past year.

This maybe a US centric survey but it certainly has a bearing on some of the region. In some region, the adoption of smartphones had taken off quite a while ago. A good example would be China, Japan and Korea where most mobile users have access to a powerful wireless device allowing them communicate and staying connected over the internet.

The global trend is certainly heading that direction and I cant see why the US will not. They may have taken a while to realise the real power of mobile phone and its clear from the survey, the adoption rate will only speed up.

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