Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two-Thirds of U.S. Smartphone Users Won't Pay over $50 a Month for Data

A Dallas-based research company called Parks Associates has published the results of a survey it conducted with U.S. wireless consumers pertaining to the costs of smartphone data plans.

According to the research firm, two-thirds of U.S. consumers that plan to purchase a smartphone refuse to pay more than $50 per month for mobile data plans. The study also revealed that nearly 50% of smartphone users out there don't know how much data they use each month. That's unsurprising given many carriers make it difficult for consumers to determine how much data they've used.

"Operators need to create new value propositions for their data services," said Harry Wang, Director, Mobile Research, Parks Associates. "U.S. consumers are accustomed to unlimited data use for one fixed price. They are reluctantly embracing the capped data plan tiers, but they have high price sensitivity and will rebel against byte-tracking. Operators need to shift consumers' perception away from raw data to the experience created by their data services."

Parks Associates also found that over 90% of smartphone owners in the U.S. have downloaded apps since purchasing the smartphone at an average of two apps monthly. Globally, consumers have spent over $14 billion on smartphone app downloads in 2012.

The research firm goes on to say that wireless operators need to tie offerings to popular apps and services rather than charging users per megabyte.

"Moving mobile users to usage-based plans will be difficult and painful, but changes are necessary for operators to maintain revenues," Wang said. "Operators would benefit by recasting mobile data services as experience-driven in order to reduce price sensitivity, fend off competition, and keep their mobile data revenue engine humming."

From the article, "Two-Thirds of U.S. Smartphone Users Won't Pay over $50 a Month for Data" by Shane McGlaun

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