US Insights

Seeking the perfect smartphone

Carolina Milanesi

Former Chief of Research and Head of US Business, ComTech

Mobile 04.02.2015 / 09:55

Heart mobile phone

Latest ComTech data highlight role of research, carrier stores in consumers' smartphone choices

During the three months ending in February 2015, smartphones accounted for 80% of all mobile phones sold in the US, a 9.9 percentage point increase over the same period last year, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data.  Just over one-third of consumers - 34.4% - who bought a smartphone did so for the very first time.

Consumers still do not seem to find choosing a smartphone an easy task. In the three months ending in February, just 33% of buyers did no research at all before purchasing their device. The remaining strong majority of consumers engaged in a series of research activities from visiting a retail store (33%), to asking friends for advice (20.6%), to visiting a carrier's website (22.8%).

Key Numbers

  • 59% of smartphone sales occurred in a carrier store
  • 33% of buyers who did research visited a carrier store before buying

Buyers who visited a carrier store recall the presence of working models (35.6%) and the availability of special promotions (26.2%), as well as offers of recommendations (23.2%).

Carriers are not "just" a choice of a network for consumers-they are also the place to go when buying a smartphone: 59% of sales during this three-month stretch happened in a carrier store, with Verizon and AT&T still dominating at 22.9% and 14.6%, respectively.

These leads mirror the two carriers' leads in sales overall. Verizon captured 28.7% of all smartphone sales for the three months ending in February, while AT&T got 21.1%. T-Mobile trailed with 11.7% of sales. 

The ComTech data also show that iOS's share of operating system sales dipped slightly to 38.8% from 39.3% during the same period in 2013-2014. The iPhone 6 remained the best-selling smartphone, with buyers mentioning its screen size (45%), LTE capability (44%), and the reliability and durability of the device (43%) as the key purchase drivers. While screen size matters to iPhone 6 buyers, it is even more important for iPhone 6 Plus customers, with 70% citing screen size as their purchase driver.

Download the latest ComTech quarterly release for the three months ending February 2015 below.

 

Source: Kantar Worldpanel


Editor's Notes

For the quarterly ComTech smartphone and OS sales share data, explore our interactive data viz here. For inquiries, contact us. Follow us @Kantar and sign up for our alerts.

Latest Stories

Most Americans do not believe proper safeguards are in place to protect their personal health data.

Highlights of 2019 China Shopper Report Vol.2.

Connectivity is still lacking real-world relevance for many. It remains one of the least important factors taken into consideration when buying a car.

If GOP media buyers and consultants are indicative of their party’s thinking, they believe that Biden’s lead is tentative.

Kantar’s Media division analyzed this year’s trends in TV and paid search retail advertising for the first half of the holiday season

Related Content