52% of consumers will buy a smartphone in the next two years
A recent study of over 1500 US consumers from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found almost twice as many people plan to purchase a smartphone (52%) than a regular cell phone (29%) over the next two years. Yet when consumers were asked to prioritize communications services, mobile data service was at the bottom of the list—well below regular mobile phone-only service plans. Although mobile Internet access is going mainstream, mainstream consumers need help understanding mobile data service plans.
“It won't be long before consumers will have sticker shock from mobile data overages given the growing appetite for bandwidth-intensive applications, the increasing ubiquity of mobile Internet usage and the phasing out of unlimited usage mobile data service plans,” says Chris Neal, vice president of Chadwick Martin Bailey's technology and telecom practice. “As consumer's expectations increase and awareness of the cost of data consumption grows, hybrid networks that allow consumers to seamlessly switch between mobile data services are going to become increasingly important.”
First it was AT&T and now Verizon Wireless has recently announced they are moving away from unlimited data plans to towards tiered-based pricing. This study found consumers have a mixed reaction when they were asked specifically about the new tiered based pricing. Close to 40% say they don't like tiered based pricing plans and they are willing to switch carriers to avoid them, 51% say they like the option of a tiered plan along with the option for unlimited data, and 11% said they don't like tiered plans but they would not switch carriers to avoid them.
“We are seeing smartphones become more ubiquitous and data plans become more varied and nuanced,” continues Chris. “Consumers and wireless carriers appear to be on a collision course over data usage and offerings.”