Mobile Device Purchasing Decision Drivers

— June 05, 2014

The mobile and wireless industry is experiencing rapidly-evolving device trends that influence the uptake of smartphones and tablets among CXOs (C-level executives, directors, managers). Of the 3 form factors evaluated (laptops, tablets, and smartphones), the most significant growth was from tablets, which approached 50% adoption among CXOs in 2013. In comparison, laptop computer usage has been on a steady decline from its previous peak in 2011.

According to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 2013 CXOs Mobile Devices Report, based on a survey of 555 CXOs globally, the CXO ownership rate of laptops is declining. However, ownership of tablets is gaining pace due to their convenience. In fact, roughly one third of CXO respondents indicated they are looking to replace their laptop with a tablet.

OS vs. Device Type
While convenience and interoperability with other devices are the chief reasons over half of the CXOs gave for favoring a particular mobile operating system, they still demonstrated unique purchase channel preferences depending on the type of mobile device. For instance, CXOs usually acquire laptops through their employer, smartphones through mobile operators, and tablets from manufacturer stores.

“In terms of features, CXOs look for reliability, performance and convenience in laptops for office use,” said Frost & Sullivan Mobile & Wireless Research Director Brent Iadarola. “Apple iOS was the most preferred mobile operating system for a future tablet (64%), followed by Android (22%) and Windows (11%).”

Apple is the most-used brand in the smartphones and tablets sector due to the popularity of the easy-to-use Apple iOS operating system. Although ownership of multiple devices is uncommon for less prevalent brands, Apple tablet owners possess an average of 1.5 tablets each.

On the contrary, Apple’s year-over-year growth rate is lower than their closest competitors despite being the dominant smartphone brand and the highest rated for satisfaction. In fact, Samsung is expected to experience the quickest growth over the near term.

“Samsung is striving to improve its position in the smartphone and tablets market by providing an operating system that facilitates interoperability,” observed Iadarola. “In the tablets segment, Samsung Galaxy and Microsoft Surface are both expected to expand their share substantially, though neither is likely to pose a notable threat to Apple in the short-term.”

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