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Differences in Mobile Handset Usage and Spending

By Jean-Laurent Poitou | Sept. 20, 2010
While some business software companies work to integrate their offerings directly with online tools like Twitter or Facebook, the real business benefits will come from enterprise resources planning (ERP) and other enterprise software.

During the past several months, Accenture has been conducting global market research on consumer usage and spending of mobile handsets and services. The goal has been to determine how consumer electronics companies might better differentiate their products and services to grow their businesses.

As part of this initiative, we analysed thousands of online surveys from Internet-enabled consumers in eight countries: China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. We selected these countries to compare the preferences of consumers in emerging countries (China, India, Malaysia and Singapore) to those of their mature country counterparts (France, Germany, Japan and the United States).

The survey asked participants about 18 different technologies including mobile handsets, smartphones, computers and various other devices. It also asked about 18 different consumer technology applications such as their use of mobile handsets for texting, emailing, watching videos and other applications.

Based on our analysis of this research, it's clear that the differences in usage and spending on mobile handsets among consumers around the world vary significantly by country. To illustrate these differences, we've compiled the top 10 highlights of our research:-

One: Japanese respondents are trailing other country respondents in multiple categories.
Japanese consumers have historically been early adopters of wireless technologies for texting, emailing, music and games. But with the overall economy stagnating and the nation's population already heavily equipped with consumer electronics, the country's consumers rank low among those countries surveyed in the percentage who have bought and plan to buy mobile handsets in the next year. During the past year, only one in five (19 percent) Japanese respondents bought a mobile handset, compared with 49 percent of all respondents. An average of only 16 percent plan to buy a mobile handset next year, compared with a 36 percent global average. And just 4 percent plan to purchase a smartphone. That's more than five times below the 21 percent global average. In Japan, it could be that their mobile handset upgrade cycle rate has slowed compared with the other countries surveyed, not necessarily that they trail in usage. This slowing of the upgrade cycle may be an eventual actuality in the other countries.

Two: Chinese respondents usage of mobile handsets and mobile service applications is above average.
Chinese respondents tend to take more advantage of the technology purchased than respondents from the other countries. For example, 63 percent occasionally watch videos on mobile devices, which is nearly twice the 35 percent global average. Services in which the largest percentage of Chinese respondents will invest during the next year include mobile data service for laptops (44 percent vs. 21 percent global average), mobile data services for mobile phones (41 percent vs. 22 percent), and mobile phone service (36 percent vs. 35 percent).


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