In advance of Mobile World Congress this month, Parks Associates released new mobile research today showing 86% of U.S. broadband households now own a smartphone. The smartphone markets in European nations, like in the U.S., have become mature and highly competitive. Among broadband households in Western Europe, 76% in the U.K., 82% in Germany, 78% in France, and 90% in Spain own a smartphone.
The research, 360 View: Mobility & the App Economy, shows one-third of Apple iPhone owners still have a model that is more than two years old, compared to 30% of Samsung phone owners. Forty-five percent of all U.S. broadband households wait two years to upgrade their smartphone.
“Operators are pulling out all the tricks to encourage phone upgrades,” said Harry Wang, Director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates, in a statement. “The once-familiar two-year contract, which tied consumers to a two-year phone upgrade cycle, is gradually fading. U.S. carriers started to do away with two-year contracts in 2012, and by the third quarter of 2015, only 51% of mobile consumers had a contract, down from almost 70% at the end 2011.”
360 View: Mobility & the App Economy tracks mobile consumer loyalty, subscriber expectations, and trends in mobile data consumption and Wi-Fi usage, as well as the impact of new mobile service programs on mobile consumer loyalty. The research shows T-Mobile leads in enrollment for early upgrade programs, with almost one-third of its customers enrolled in the company’s early handset upgrade program. AT&T is second, with more than one-fourth of their customers enrolled.
“A customer-centric approach has returned to the mobile service market in the U.S., thanks to T-Mobile’s maverick ‘uncarrier’ moves,” Wang added. “T-Mobile’s strategy has forced AT&T and Verizon to re-examine how they design and market services to consumers. They have responded with moves that either match T-Mobile’s initiatives or benefit their customers in a different way.”
Additional mobile research from Parks Associates shows:
• More than 70% of smartphone users now watch short streaming video clips, and more than 40% watch long streaming videos on their device.
• Almost 40% of smartphone users use the voice recognition function; among iPhone users, more than half have used Siri.
• Other advanced smartphone activities include the following:
• 36% use Wi-Fi calling
• 35% stream music from the phone to speakers
• 26% use a payment app for purchases at a retail location
• 24% stream video from the phone to a second screen (e.g., TV, PC, etc.)
Parks Associates is supporting Mobile World Congress, February 22-25, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain, and Wang will attend the event.
Source: Parks Associates
MacDailyNews Take: If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not smart, nor is its owner.