With the rumor mill once again flying about iPhone and iPad devices being available on the Verizon Wireless (VZW) network in 2011, the first question on everyone’s mind… “Is this for real this time?” But as a card-carrying research geek, I also wonder how mobile consumers are going to react. Will this slow down Android’s rise to the top?
Most likely, there will indeed be a spike in churn to Verizon Wireless. Smartphones are absolutely going mainstream (see Exhibit 1) and specific smartphone availability does play into some consumers’ decisions about which carrier to use. More specifically, 23% of US adults are “very excited” about the possibility of the iPhone being available on a carrier other than AT&T Wireless (see Exhibit 2). Excitement levels around this are higher than other hot topics like Android-based phone developments or the iPad.
So what types of customers are more likely to churn over from other wireless carriers or upgrade their current VZW cellular plans if this does indeed become reality? Our own research shows young folks (18-34) and upper-income households ($75K+) are typically much more excited about the iPhone being available through other carriers than other consumers are. Pre-emptive offers from AT&T Wireless to get those iPhone service-plan subscribers to re-commit to new two-year contracts might pay for themselves over the next 24 months.
The era of AT&T Wireless having exclusivity over the iPhone has helped fuel the meteoric rise of Android-based smartphones. The end of this iPhone distribution exclusivity might not have as dramatic a market effect as it would have, say, two years ago or even one year ago. Many customers have gotten tired of waiting for that perfect combination of their preferred carrier and their preferred mobile Internet device to come together.
Are you waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon or are you happy with the device and carrier you have?
Posted by Chris Neal. Chris leads CMB’s Tech & Telecom Practice. He enjoys spending time with his two kids and rock climbing.
The mobile computing market is abuzz with Apple announcing
yesterday they have sold 3 million iPads in just 80 days, Google's press conference today on Droid X
and the shipment of the iPhone 4. With each release devices are getting smaller (well maybe not the Droid X), faster and smarter. Prices are also dropping as the competition continues to heat up. Smartphones, which were once just used by the business traveler are much more mainstream and now marketed to consumers thanks to the iPhone and Verizon's buy one get one free promotions
So with all these changes to the mobile landscape we thought we would ask both consumers and our own IT decision maker panel to find out if they plan to swap one device for another. (See today's press release on the findings)
What we found was that businesses were more open to swapping out one computing platform for another than consumers. The biggest drivers for making the switch were not surprisingly cost and form factor, but what was a bit surprising was that close to twice as many IT decision makers than consumers are willing to ditch the notebook for a netbook the next time around. The netbook, which started out as a low cost computer targeted at consumers is seeing new life and new opportunity in the B2B market.
There has been a lot of hype around the iPad killing the netbook, but netbooks will see new life in the B2B market as long as manufactures research, recognize and capitalize on these shifts in the mobile market.
Posted by Don Ryan. Don is a senior consultant for CMB's technology practice. Don is an avid tennis player and enjoys reading political commentary and spy novels.
Despite the media focus on new, cool technological devices, content seems to be what is really on consumers' minds these days. In today's CMB press release: Consumers Are More Excited About Content Than Devices we shared some very interesting insights collected earlier this year about which of the recently hyped technologies consumers are most excited about. I expected to see the iPad or Droid phones at the top of the list, but content was king with movie rentals via the internet topping the list and internet via TV also ranking relatively high.
Even many of the new features and enhancements for the iPhone 4 seemed to be all about content. From video conferencing and editing to streaming movies via the new Netflix app, it's no wonder AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans. This could be a slippery slope for consumers as they now need to become more educated on their data consumption, but that's a whole other discussion.
In a recent Ad Age article Michael Learmonth talked about the new Netflix iPhone app which streams movies either over the AT&T network($$$) or Wifi. I have to say Netflix always seems to be one step ahead of consumers, from DVD's by mail to delivery to the Wii and now streaming movies on the iPhone, they are in a great position to take advantage of this segment of the market. The presentation below shows that they have staked their claim and are clear and deliberate about their focus and their slice of the content pie.
In 2010 Netflix is expecting their subscriber base to grow to over 17 million. Although DVD-by-mail movie rentals are expected to continue to grow over the next few years, Netflix expects it to peak in 2013 and then steadily decline, eventually being replaced by online streaming. Hey why walk to the mailbox when you don't need to leave your couch!
Are you clear about how your key target audiences are evolving and what their technology needs are?
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Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications, a mother of two, and is seriously debating making the switch to AT&T for the new iPhone 4
Once again my hopes and dreams for an iPhone have been squashed right along with the rumor that Verizon was getting the iPhone by the end of the year. Mashable reported this week that AT&T has the iPhone exclusively until 2012. This isn't the first time my hopes have been dashed and I am debating joining the Android camp, which Marketing Daily reports is taking a bite out of Apple .
The NPD Group reports Google's Android OS edged out Apple's OS for the number-two position behind RIM in the first quarter of 2010. So I'm not the only one getting tired of the wait, and quite honestly I'm not sure what I'm waiting for anyway. After all, Droid Does have a lot of apps.
So, are consumers willing to switch carriers to get the mobile device they want? Recently, in our online Consumer Pulse we asked over 1500 consumers "How likely is it that you will switch carriers to access a device that your current carrier does not offer?" While 72% said a switch is not likely, 28% reported they are either moderately or very likely to switch carriers for a specific device. Personally, I think I fall into the 72% camp. And in a different set of research we conducted in March using Toluna's phone-based omnibus we found only 13% of the 1004 US consumers surveyed said they would pay the fees related to switching carriers to get a specific mobile device.
I don't think I'm willing to switch carriers. Maybe all the Droid Does marketing is working. I'm becoming convinced that I can do everything I want with a Droid that I could have done with an iPhone.
What do you think? Would you switch carriers for a specific mobile device?
Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications, a mother of two, and loves mobile technology.