Smartphone buyers in the US are torn between two of the top smartphone brands this holiday season and some users may plan to hold out a bit longer before buying a new device according to a recent survey conducted by Swagbucks. That split doesn't exactly come out evenly across age demographics since, among handsets included in the survey, 32-percent of adults favor a Samsung while 51-percent of teens would prefer an iPhone. The same holds true for gender preferences with more women, around 20-percent, favoring Apple's iPhone XS. On the other hand, men appear to be more than prepared to hold out for the still-unannounced but long-rumored Samsung Galaxy S10 - at 26-percent - compared to just 10-percent for the Samsung Galaxy S9.
Background: Other results determined by the survey also seem to support recent reports that overall smartphone sales and shipments are down again in Q3 2018. According to the IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in fact, the shipment numbers fell a total of 6-percent year-over-year. That's been particularly negative in China, with the region now seeing six consecutive quarterly drops and a total of an 11-percent decline in that reported quarter. Samsung's individual smartphone shipments fell by 13.4-percent in spite of the company's upward overall trend and relatively good flagship sales. Instead, most of its losses - and other manufacturer's losses - are the result of more buyers choosing budget handsets or handsets with a higher cost-to-value ratio such as those made by Huawei or Xiaomi, whose figures rose during that period. Apple didn't escape that fray either, only reporting one-half of a percentage in increases.
That appears to be reflected in the new survey as well. To begin with, only those respondents in the teenage group appear to be really excited at the prospects of receiving a new smartphone. Approximately 32-percent of consumers classed in that age group indicated that would be their preferred gift while just 19-percent of adults felt the same way. For 21-percent of older individuals, a new laptop or computer would be preferred compared to just 18-percent of teens sharing that sentiment. A new tablet ranked third among the younger demographic at 16-percent and 11-percent of adults picked a new television as the next-in-line item they'd like for the holidays. On a possibly unrelated note, gift cards were the number one 'non-electronic' gift respondents want for both adults and teens at 37-percent and 30-percent respectively. Participants in the survey chose those over new clothes, an experiential gift, home items, or accessories, in that order - although, there don't appear to have been any questions about whether the gift cards would just be spent on more electronics.
Impact: While it appears as though Samsung has lost out so far, in terms of overall market appeal compared to Apple, it bears noting that sales of its current flagship have been comparatively slow. What's more, there is a lot of hype building about its nearly bezel-free next-generation Samsung Galaxy S10 flagship and another long-expected device that's expected to land next year - its tentatively dubbed Samsung Galaxy F flexible/folding smartphone. Coupled with the fact that the above-mentioned IDC analysis also expects shipments to shift in a positive direction in 2019, the chart seems to highlight a continuing rise in excitement for technology in general.