Smartphone & Wearable Purchasing Habits

Consumers get more performance for their money, according to latest study by GfK

Today, consumers on average spend a higher amount for a smartphone than they did one year ago. However, a clear improvement in device specifications means those who went for the latest devices still received value for their money. These improvements include larger screens, more storage capacity and processing power, longer battery life time, as well as features such as IP certification for water and shock protection, and superfast charging. The camera function also enjoyed significant improvement across most models. Consumers benefit from video recordings in 4K quality, a dual camera at the rear side, and increasingly better resolution of the selfie camera on the front. As a consequence, despite the 7% rise in ASP globally, consumers have better value for money today than in the past.

On the other hand, under the influence of the smartphone boom, global demand for traditional feature phones fell by 8% to 191 million units in the first half of this year. Adding the two together, total sales of mobile handhelds (smartphones and feature phones) were up by 2%.

WEARABLES GAINING POPULARITY

The demand for wearables is also showing positive growth. This product group includes smart watches, health and fitness trackers and wrist sport computers such as GPS pulse watches. Connected watches (traditional wrist-watches with Bluetooth functionality), “earables” (headphones with sensors) and locators for finding children or seniors using GPS, are also smaller segments within wearables.

Demand for wearables in Western Europe increased by 22% year-on-year in the period from January to June 2017. In terms of sales value, the market grew by 33%. This compares to Asia, which saw an increase of 21% in unit sales and 26% in sales value.

In this same period, Smartwatches accounted for 31% of the sales volume of all wearables sold in Western Europe, making up 50% of its revenue. So in terms of value, this category is by far the leading sub-segment. Compared to first half 2016, smartwatch sales grew 33% in Western Europe, and 18% in Asia. The offer and competition in this product category are steadily increasing, as growing number of vendors from the sports and fashion industry is entering the smartwatch market.