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Mobile Phones - US - June 2017

Published By :

Mintel

Published Date : Jul 2017

Category :

Consumer Electronics

No. of Pages : N/A

From 2013-16, over 200 million phones sold in the US annually, and Mintel estimates that sales will stand at a record of 204 million units in 2017. Phone manufacturers have successfully and consistently driven upgrades via superior cameras, 4G (fourth-generation wireless network) chips, faster CPUs (central processing units), improved graphics, increased storage space, and larger screens. However, given that the majority of adults (75%, not shown) own a phone that is less than two years old, substantial advances in technology need to continue just to maintain sales."

Table of Content

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Definition

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The issues
Massive historic sales difficult to surpass
Figure 1: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of mobile phones, 2012-22
Duopoly dominates
Figure 2: Brand owned, January 2017
Durable phones may damage sales
Figure 3: Purchase of new phone because prior phone broke, by age, January 2017
The opportunities
Storage, camera, screen size to drive upgrades
Figure 4: Satisfaction with current phone, January 2017
Feature phone owners want directions, email, photos
Figure 5: Motivations to switch from feature phone to smartphone, January 2017
Teens and tweens to carry growth
Figure 6: Cell phone ownership among teens, April 2015-November 2016
What it means

THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Over 200 million units sold annually between 2013-17
Conversion to smartphone still in progress
Phones for kids add up
Market hinged on postpaid plans

MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
A billion units sold between 2013-17
Hardware remains worthy of upgrades
Impact of 5G
Teens/tweens and feature phone conversion
Figure 7: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of mobile phones, 2012-22
Figure 8: Total US unit sales and forecast of mobile phones, 2012-22

MARKET BREAKDOWN
Feature phone sales crater
Figure 9: Smartphone unit sales vs feature phone unit sales, 2015 vs 2017
Directions, email, photos, most desired by feature phone owners
Figure 10: Motivations to switch from feature phone to smartphone, January 2017

MARKET PERSPECTIVE
Carrier postpaid plans prop up market
Figure 11: Up-front purchase of current smartphone, by household income, January 2017
Postpaid subs holding steady market share
Figure 12: Subscriptions, prepaid vs postpaid, 2015 vs 2016
Unbreakable phones
Figure 13: Purchase of new phone because prior phone broke, by age, January 2017

MARKET FACTORS
Conversion to smartphones still in progress
Figure 14: Feature phone ownership, by age, January 2017
Teen ownership rising
Figure 15: Cell phone ownership among adults and teens, April 2014-November 2016
Figure 16: Cell phone ownership among teens, by gender and age, April 2015-November 2016
Potential sales among tweens and kids
Figure 17: Population, by age, 2012-22

KEY PLAYERS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Two dominant brands
Sales not enticing
Numerous competitors for leftovers

WHAT’S WORKING?
Marketing winning sales
Figure 18: Brand owned, January 2017

WHAT’S STRUGGLING?
Lack of marketing support damning
Figure 19: Brand owned, January 2017
Sale pricing not a common driver
Figure 20: Purchase of smartphone on sale or used, by household income, January 2017
Figure 21: Purchase of smartphone on sale or used, by single parents and unemployed, January 2017

WHAT’S NEXT?
Rise of China Inc.
Kids phones
Insurance plans may create interest in private label
Rapid glass repair at automated Apple Horizon machines

THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Three in four own a phone less than two years old
iPhone fan girls drive brand loyalty
Low levels of interest in next smartphone
Smartphone users ready for next level of activity

LENGTH OF PHONE OWNERSHIP
Two years remains the norm
Figure 22: Age of phone, January 2017
Age chief determinant of recent upgrade
Figure 23: Age of phone, by age of owner, January 2017
Dads buy in
Figure 24: Age of phone, by parental status, January 2017
Recent purchase nearly universal among Hispanic Millennials
Figure 25: Age of phone, by Hispanic origin and generation, January 2017

LOYALTY
Stated loyalty limited
In their own words:
Figure 26: Brand loyalty, by age, January 2017
Young women stuck on iPhone
Figure 27: Brand loyalty, by gender and age, January 2017
Limited distinctions outside of gender and age
Figure 28: Brand loyalty, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017

INTEREST IN PURCHASING
Less than a third ready for next smartphone
In their own words:
Figure 29: Interest in acquiring a new smartphone, by age, January 2017
Higher-income groups more content with current phone
Figure 30: Interest in acquiring a new smartphone, by household income, January 2017
Some savings in cutting rural budgets
Figure 31: Interest in acquiring a new smartphone, by area, January 2017
Hispanic Millennials deserve attention
Figure 32: Interest in acquiring a new smartphone, by race, Hispanic origin, and generation, January 2017

PROMOTING NEW ACTIVITIES
Integrating with dashboard, television, and smart home
Figure 33: Current activities and interest in activity adoption, January 2017
Young men ready to adopt
Figure 34: Current activities and interest in activity adoption, by gender and age, January 2017
Urbanites atop interest
Figure 35: Current activities and interest in activity adoption, by location of residence, January 2017

REASONS TO UPGRADE
Storage, camera, screen size continue to drive sales
In their own words:
Figure 36: Reasons to upgrade, January 2017
Usual suspects more interested in improving their phones
Figure 37: Reasons to upgrade, by age, January 2017
Figure 38: Reasons to upgrade, by location of residence, January 2017
Figure 39: Reasons to upgrade, by Hispanic origin and generation, January 2017

IN THEIR OWN WORDS – QUALITATIVE RESPONSES
Keeping abreast of tech: Mobile just part of the mix
Durability, battery remain areas for improvement

APPENDIX – DATA SOURCES AND ABBREVIATIONS
Data sources
Sales data
Fan chart forecast
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations
Terms

List of Table

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