Photo - Phillip Trapaga, Country Manager of Belkin ASEAN.
According to a recent survey by accessories firm Belkin, Malaysian smartphone owners lean towards practicality when it comes to buying accessories with price and device compatibility leading the purchase decision.
About 65 percent of respondents rated pricing and compatibility as the most important considerations when choosing smartphone accessories, ranking above other factors including design (15 percent), durability (18 percent) and brand (3 percent), said Belkin ASEAN country manager Philip Trapaga.
"Although pricing is a key concern, the survey also found that half (50 percent) of the respondents are willing to spend extra on accessories with premium build quality or materials," said Trapaga.
"Whilst this was overwhelmingly recognised as the dominant reason for Android users to spend more on accessories, iOS users differed distinctly by being almost equally compelled by official or limited edition accessories as well as better warranty packages," he said.
"Almost 90 percent of the respondents recorded having purchased accessories for their smartphones with a majority of three-quarters of this group purchasing only as and when necessary," said Trapaga. "Breaking down the data further, iOS device users in the survey displayed a greater propensity in accessories purchase than Android device users. Almost 35 percent of respondents using iOS devices tend to purchase accessories at least once every few months compared to only 19 percent of Android users."
"Of the respondents who purchased accessories in the last six months, cases and covers (82 percent), screen protectors (74 percent) and power-related accessories (44 percent) were the types of accessories that users gravitated towards," he said. "Not surprisingly, the accessories most heavily purchased by iOS users were cases and covers, with 88 percent of them purchasing at least one case or cover in the past six months. Interestingly, Android users however seemed to purchase more screen protectors than cases in general, with 81 percent of them reported doing so in the same duration, slightly more than the 79 percent who purchased cases/covers."
Belkin conducted the online survey in August 2012 to gather insights to smartphone accessories ownership, usage and purchasing behaviour among Malaysians. The survey drew responses from 106 respondents identified through a purposive sampling of smartphone users between 18 to 45 years old, middle to high income earners and undergraduate students. The survey posed questions on the frequency of smartphone accessories purchase, spending behaviour and attitude towards branded accessories.
Android owners more 'cost-conscious'
"The survey also recorded some interesting differences between iOS and Android users in their smartphone accessories buying patterns," said Trapaga. "iOS users are more inclined to purchase accessories driven by style and design compared to their Android counterparts. A sizeable 62 percent of respondents with iOS devices rated style and expression of personality as a major motivation compared to just 38 percent of Android users. Conversely, Android users are more practical and cost conscious, with 44 percent of them indicating they would spend as little as possible on covers and cases compared to only 19 percent of iOS users."
"About 43 percent of respondents regularly purchase and use branded accessories for their smartphones, with a majority citing that branded accessories are of better quality than non-branded alternatives," he said. "Sixty (60) percent of respondents typically buy their smartphone accessories from authorised resellers and IT centres, which was rated above other locations such as shopping mall kiosks or pasar malam [night market] (22 percent) and online retailers (18 percent)."
Trapaga said that the survey also found that three-quarters of respondents stated that they would purchase smartphone accessories as gifts for their families and friends.
"As the maker of preferred People Inspired Products for both Apple and Samsung smartphones, Belkin places great importance on developing quality and innovative accessories inspired by the needs and desires of today's discerning consumers," he said. "Insights gleaned from the survey are useful in helping us listen to our customers, an effort that is consistent with our belief in delivering products and solutions that perfectly meet our user's practical needs and individual preferences."
"Although smartphone accessories primarily provide rational and straightforward benefits such as protection and additional functionality for users, we have also noticed that the desire to express individual style and character plays an important role in influencing the purchasing behaviour," said Trapaga.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.