Smartphone Sales in the US Seen Driven by Young, Female ‘Wannabe’ Consumers

March 24, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Did you know women in the 16 to 24 age group are currently helping smartphone sales forge ahead in the US? No surprise this, as a study has brought to light the phone-buying potential of the so called ‘wannabes’. And, they are a force indeed!

(Image: DHTech)

Latest research by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech US has found that women account for 54 percent of the smartphone buyers, and a cool 24 percent of them are typically young ones. The research has also found that a higher proportion of ‘wannabes’ are also students – accounting for 15% – as compared with 8% of current smartphone buyers.

So, that means a new generation of tech-aspiring Americans holds the key to the smartphones market. They could even push up sales of the smart handsets in the whole of US.

What can be seen as an interesting observation is that men under 34 years of age – who may be considered the early adopters – are now not a priority for smartphone makers whatsoever. This group of customers currently account for just 17 percent of smart phone purchases, as against the 28 percent during early 2010.

It is being seen that smartphone providers are forced to look beyond these early adopters and focus more on new audiences in a scenario where competition among companies is buoyant. For instance, Apple and BlackBerry have been dominant forces till recently and they continue in that vein even now.

However, brands of the likes of HTC and Samsung have accelerated ahead in the smartphone terrain. A look at the statistics will make it clear that while HTC grew their market share from 12 percent to 19 percent, Samsung saw their share rise from 4 percent to 16 percent since the beginning of 2010. There isn’t any doubt that the smartphone market is vibrant and skyrocketing.

The research has also found that 26% of consumers in the US are smartphone owners. Companies across the board have also sold a staggering 8.5 million devices during the latest quarter.

The ‘wannabes’ are the ones the phone makers now want to target, with most of the aspiring women and students not currently owning a smartphone but are looking forward to flaunt one. These ‘wannabes’, while being less concerned with the advanced features now offered, look more at the price factor. A 74 percent of currently are willing to spend less than $90 on a handset.

That also means that the phone makers are also looking at pushing to their midst devices that offer touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard, but without the most advanced functions that come with the high end devices.

Cost-consciousness seems to be growing. Look at how Apple has started making things move their way. Apple has given in to ‘wannabe’ demand by cutting down the price of its 3GS iPhone model on AT&T.

The industry is really seeing the trend and moving accordingly. Don’t you also think so?

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