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Content, apps displace operators in handset purchasing decisions

25 февраля 2010

A growing proportion of U.K. consumers now consider content and applications as the biggest influence on their phone purchasing decision, according to new TNS’ research. However, the majority of consumers still maintain that the form factor of the device itself is more important.

The survey carried out by research agency TNS found that 13% of U.K. mobile users regard content and applications to be the single biggest influence when buying a new phone, compared to 9% who pick their device based on the handset model, and 12% who make their choice based on their mobile operator.

Yet 29% said they still make their buying decision based ultimately on the look and feel of the device.

"We are seeing profound changes in the way that people make purchase decisions and in the brands that are most meaningful to them," commented Stephen Yap, group director at TNS Technology, in a statement.

Indeed, for some time handset vendors have been aggressively pitching smartphones as aggregators of their favourite online services, including email, social networking and video.

For instance, re-skinned versions of Google's Android OS from the likes of HTC and Motorola, plus Vodafone's LiMo-based 360 service, have converged address books that enable users to choose how to connect with their contacts, whether by voice, SMS, email, or Facebook.

Microsoft during Mobile World Congress last week lifted the lid on Windows Mobile 7 Series. The latest incarnation of its smartphone platform also pitches itself as an aggregator of popular online services, as the software giant aims to claw back lost ground in the increasingly consumer centric smartphone market.

TNS' research also looked into brand loyalty in the U.K.

51% of U.K. consumers surveyed placed their loyalties with handset brands like Nokia, Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry.

However, 24% of respondents said they were most loyal to their favourite content and application brands, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, while 25% are primarily loyal to their operator.

The survey found that in the 16-30 age bracket, 37% are most loyal towards content and application brands, with just 12% are committed to their operator.

"While established handset makers are standing their ground, network operators are clearly under pressure from the rise of the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter," said Yap.

"These content providers are increasingly capturing consumers' loyalties and are leading the way in bringing users the benefits of the latest mobile technologies," he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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