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The 2012 Accenture consumer electronics trends study

Always on, always connected: Finding growth opportunities in an era of hypermobile consumers.

Overview

The data is in and the findings are clear: The movement to mobility is in full throttle. Smartphones and tablets are the “power players” in consumer electronics products growth rates, helping consumers use their virtual network to access a growing portfolio of content, services and apps. The 2012 Consumer Electronics Trends Study shows consumers enthusiastically making their networked lives more robust: Connecting in more than one way and on multiple devices, consuming more content and doing it all on the go.

Background
For five consecutive years, Accenture’s Electronics & High Tech industry group has studied preferences for consumer electronics products and services. This annual research is intended to help consumer technology executives better understand the purchase patterns and use of consumer technologies and to gain deeper insights into global differences.

Our 2012 study, which is based on a September 2011 survey of more than 10,000 consumers across 10 countries, presents this year’s research findings in detail and discusses the implications they have for companies looking to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in this era of the always-on, always-connected consumer.

Key Findings

The research identified five consumer electronics trends for manufacturers and service providers to consider as consumers strive to be “always on, and always connected”. Each trend is explored in detail within the report.

  • Mobile, mobile, anything mobile (and smart)—Consumers are reaching a state of "hypermobility", rapidly adopting mobile technologies and downloading apps that keep them connected anywhere, anytime. As a result, TV viewing and purchase intentions are declining.

  • The consumer cloud uplift—Consumers are increasingly reaching into the network and modifying their behaviors as they rely on cloud services.

  • Ubiquitous “app-etite”—Consumers’ use of electronics is more and more dependent on the exploding number of apps now within their reach.

  • Where in the world? Globalization and shifting purchase patterns—Emerging markets lead the growth of many consumer technologies, but these markets are not uniform in consumers’ device purchase and use.

  • Multichannel purchasing is preferred—While consumer electronics retailers remain the dominant choice for device purchases, other channels (namely other retailers and online) have made significant inroads in the past five years.

Recommendations

Consumers around the world are striving to get and stay connected wherever they are via mobile technologies, abundant app choices and a growing set of service alternatives from the cloud. The era of hypermobility has numerous implications for consumer electronics companies as they work to capture the greatest share of wallet among their target customers.

For example, profitable product portfolios will have a focus on devices that meet consumers’ preference for mobility, from smartphones to tablets, while extending other categories such as the PC, with new form factors, and televisions, with “connected” experiences.

Leading providers will need to combine continual innovations in products, cloud services and application offerings with sophisticated targeting of profitable consumer segments to win the hearts and wallets of today’s hypermobile consumers.