For sixteen years our Voice of the Connected User Landscape research has been accurately predicting changes in quarterly smartphone adoption for the top device manufacturers and wireless service providers. As a result our research is highly respected and valued by our clients at the highest level.
Just 8.3% of respondents to our Q1 2017 VoCUL survey say they plan to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 2.7 points lower than the previous quarterly survey. 451 Research’s VoCUL team believe lengthening smartphone upgrade cycles and the lack of revolutionary new features are contributing to the low buying levels.
According to the survey, Apple remains the preferred manufacturer among planned smartphone buyers, with 38% saying they’ll purchase an iPhone over the next 90 days. This is a notable 16 points lower than the previous quarter and a 27-point drop over six months, a steeper decline than is typically seen two quarters after a new model.
But despite the weakened market, Samsung is seeing a seven-point increase over the previous quarter, with 22% of planned buyers saying they will purchase a Samsung smartphone in the next 90 days. Samsung is up a total of eight points over the past two surveys as it continues to recover from the Note 7 recall. The latest VoCUL survey was nearly complete at the time of the Galaxy S8 announcement, so the impact of the new model is not fully reflected in the findings.
VoCUL clients value our research because it gives historical and strategic context in which to anticipate their own customer demand in the coming quarter. See the similarities between the VoCUL analysis published in our April 25th report and the references to the research Apple makes in its recent quarterly earnings announcement.
VoCUL Consumer Smartphones: 90-Day Outlook survey report, April 2017:
“Our latest survey shows smartphone demand sinking to its lowest level of the past nine years. Apple remains the preferred manufacturer among planned smartphone buyers, with 38% saying they’ll purchase an iPhone over the next 90 days. This is a notable 16 points lower than previously, and the combined 27 point drop since September is steeper than what we typically see two quarters after a new iPhone release.”
“That said, consumers are likely waiting for Apple's next-gen releases expected in September (i.e., 7s, 7s Plus). There is also speculation that Apple will release a third iPhone with major upgrades to mark the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone. This is adding to the anticipation of the new iPhone releases – with possible features including a glass body, 5.8" edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging.”
Apple’s Fiscal Q2 2017 earnings announcement, May 2017:
“...we're seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases on iPhone, which we believe are due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones. And so that part is clearly going on, and it could be what's behind the data.”
- Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Other 451 Research mentions in Apple's announcement, May 2017:
“Customer interest and satisfaction with iPhone are very strong, not only with consumers but also with business users. In the U.S., the latest data from 451 Research on consumers indicates a 96% customer satisfaction rating among iPhone 7 owners and 98% for iPhone 7 Plus. Among corporate smartphone buyers, iPhone customer satisfaction was 95%. And of those planning to purchase smartphones in the June quarter, 79% plan to purchase iPhone.”
“iPad remains very successful in the segments of the tablet market where we compete….And in February, 451 Research measured consumer satisfaction rates for iPad that range from 95% for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro to 100% for the 12.9-inch version. Among U.S. consumers planning to purchase a tablet within the next six months, purchase intention for iPad was 69%. Corporate buyers reported a 96% satisfaction rate and a purchase intent of 68% for the June quarter.”
- Luca Maestri, CFO, Apple
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