Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Number of smartphone users to quadruple, exceeding 1 billion worldwide by 2014

Users diversifying beyond young, tech-savvy consumers; interest in email and social networking applications drive new user segments

The demand for smartphones is creating a demographic shift among users, who will exceed 1 billion worldwide by 2014, stimulating demand for more entry-level models that offer mainstream solutions such as mobile email and social networking applications, according to Parks Associates’ Smartphone: King of Convergence.

This new report includes consumer data from Parks Associates’ primary study Mobile Convergence: Platforms, Applications, and Services. This consumer survey finds only 30% of current smartphone users are the stereotypical young and tech-savvy aficionados.

 Parks Associates Smartphones Chart

The other user segments exhibit more mainstream demographic attributes and more divergent usage patterns. One such segment, dubbed “pragmatists,” consists of budget-conscious, middle-aged users who prefer mobile email service over Internet access. Another group is keen on the smartphone’s communication features, ranging from mobile Internet to social network access.

“The diffusion of smartphones is accelerating,” said Harry Wang, Director, Health and Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates, “As the base grows, users are becoming more heterogeneous in needs and usage.” Carriers and handset makers will benefit from selling high-end models to smartphone aficionados, but Wang notes that the mid-tier and entry-level smartphone markets are now ripe with greater opportunities. Providers and manufacturers that offer well-designed models tailored to the needs of specific consumer segments, as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach, will be successful.

Smartphone: King of Convergence tracks smartphone sales and market shares and analyzes carrier strategies, new mobile applications and services, and mobile technology trends. Mobile Convergence: Platforms, Applications, and Services is a survey of U.S. mobile consumers about ownership and attitudes regarding mobile devices and services. For more information, visit http://www.parksassociates.com/mobile or contact 972-490-1113 or sales@parksassociates.com.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, and Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer.

http://www.parksassociates.com

Next: Survey Finds Femtocells Appeal to 56% of U.S. Consumers

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