Smartphone sales reached a three-year low last year when consumers were asked if they were going to buy a new smartphone that year. Many things factor into a smartphone purchase – price, features, security, and results even vary per country. In the US where most people own a smartphone, sales may not be as brisk, but in China, where there is a huge consumer demand to own a smartphone, sales are rising. According to the survey, the average number of customers ready to purchase a smartphone in 2017 is up to 54%, whereas in China the response is a whopping 74%, which is up from 61% in 2016. India, another country of growing technology, had a 79% response, which was up from 68%. Even in the US, 52%, up from 38% last year, claim they are going to purchase a new smartphone.
The main reason cited by 51% of those surveyed for buying a new smartphone is to have access to the latest and greatest technology and features – this was up from 41% last year. 45% stated that they wanted the improved functionalities that the new smartphones provide – this is up from 33% last year. The newer phones allow mobile purchases and incorporate Android Pay and Samsung Pay that can be authorized with the swipe of a fingerprint sensor – another feature not available on an older device. Another 34% said their current device is starting to run sluggish or they are having problems. As the years have gone on, the displays are becoming larger. At first, they were ridiculed as consumers kept their 4.5-inch devices, but now 5.5-inches seems to be a well-rounded size. The survey showed that 33% of the consumers looking to buy a new smartphone are looking to get a larger display. They had 27% cite the updated security features of the newer smartphones as their reason to update. More banking and mobile purchases mean security is a priority as hackers are always finding a new way to exploit our personal data. 21% simply want to change their brand of smartphone from say an iPhone to a Samsung or anything Android. The last category that was mentioned by 19% of respondents is they wanted their smartphone to pair up with the new wearables.
Accenture's survey consisted of 26,000 consumers in 26 countries. Although they found smartphone sales to increase in 2017, they also found a reduced market for smartwatches and fitness monitors. Those surveyed cited concerns about security and privacy as well as their perceived high cost. Consumers are accepting the Artificial Intelligence (AI) showing up in devices such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, not to mention the newer smartphones. People are finding the ability to simply ask a question and get an answer from a machine rather than run to a book to look up the information. This is particularly the case for the younger crowd where 84% of 14-to-17-year-olds are saying they currently use this technology today or are interested in doing so.