Over two thirds of people now use a smartphone, but sales are stalling

Google smartphone

Over two thirds of people in developed markets worldwide now own a smartphone, according to a study of 625,000 people by Google and researchers Kantar. But sales in major markets fell 2 percent last year as the market reached full maturity with consumers reluctant to change brands and vendors increasingly focussed on selling upgrades and replacing existing devices. The five-year study found that 70 percent now use a smartphone, up from 51 percent in 2012. Dependence on the devices is also growing with 54 percent preferring to carry out a task digitally, two-thirds (65 percent) use the smartphone to go online ‘at least as much’ as a computer, and 76 percent using their smartphones or other connected devices while watching TV.

Loyalty among iPhone owners in the US was 92 percent in 2016. For those who also owned an iPad, that number jumped to 96 percent. A similar pattern is seen among Samsung smartphone owners. Their loyalty to the phone alone ranked at 67 percent and jumped to 74 percent among those who also owned a Samsung tablet.

There are few signs that consumers will be switching to wearables in the near future. According to Kantar: “the latest in cutting edge technology could stimulate future growth, but without more compelling applications for these technologies they may end up being little more than hype. The market will need to prove a satisfying combination of technology, content, and services that make consumers’ lives easier.”

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