Consumers Starting To Sour On Single-Function Electronic Gadgets: Report

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
January 7, 2013
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That’s good news for makers of multi-function devices led by computers, smartphones, tablets, and HDTVs — but potentially worrisome for makers of, say, Blu-ray players — consulting firm Accenture says this morning based on its latest annual Global Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report. The study, released in conjunction with the International CES confab getting underway in Las Vegas, is based on a September 2012 survey of 11,000 consumers in 11 countries. It found sharp increases in plans to buy the four leading multi-function devices while buyer enthusiasm cooled slightly for disc players, and was unchanged for digital photo and video cameras, and game consoles. “This development amounts to a call to action for electronics manufacturers,” says Mattias Lewren, managing director for Accenture’s Electronics and High-Tech industry group. “They need to focus squarely on innovative devices with multiple applications, from browsing to media consumption to communications in various settings. Consumers want ‘do-it-all’ capabilities in various sizes and user experiences that fit their different lifestyle needs.” But people don’t appear to be especially loyal to operating systems that tie devices together. About two-thirds of the people surveyed said that they would buy mobile or computing devices that use different systems; they’re more interested in whether a device is innovative or easy to use. “The platforms that offer a more intuitive user experience, and diverse and sticky applications with compatibility across devices, will be key to creating consumer loyalty in this four-horse race,” Lewren says.

The Accenture data seems to jibe with findings out this morning in Nielsen’s latest U.S. Consumer Usage Report. It says that nearly 120M people in homes that have TVs own four or more TV sets, and 16% of these households also has a tablet. In addition, 56% of mobile phone subscribers had a smartphone as of Q3 2012.

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