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Vendors are marketing an array of mobile devices to consumers but there is a limit to how many consumers are willing to carry in total.
MOBILE DEVICES AND PLATFORMS The Rule of Three—Understanding How Convergent Devices Can Help Vendors Triumph Over Consumers’ Carrying Limitations Lead Analyst Desirée Davis Contributing Analysts Michael Gartenberg Elaine B. Coleman, Ph.D. Kira Deutch An Interpret Syndicated Research Service subscription is $10,000 per year and includes twelve research reports and unlimited analyst inquiry. For subscription inquiries, email email@example.com or call (310) 255-0590. Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. Interpret’s syndicated research reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on Interpret’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published June 2009. © 2009 Interpret, LLC The Rule of Three—Understanding How Convergent Devices Can Help Vendors Triumph Over Consumers’ Carrying Limitations Catalyst: Vendors are marketing an array of mobile devices to consumers but there is a limit to how many consumers are willing to carry in total. Core Questions: 1) What is the role of the converged device? 2) How many devices will different consumers carry? 3) How should vendors be a part of the consumer mobile ecosystem? Interpret Insight: Although 34% of consumers prefer to carry a single device, 39% of consumers are willing to carry two devices while 18% are willing to carry up to three. Devices that do not fit into this three device ecosystem will be left behind. Vendors must be certain that the breadth of their device’s functionality factors into the consumer’s rule of three. Convergent devices allow consumers to transcend the rule of three. The mobile industry has seen a sharp shift in consumer attitudes with almost one in five consumers stating they would be willing to carry three portable devices on a regular basis. As cell phones have become more effective at mastering multi-faceted communication and quick internet browsing, consumers have found them essential to have at all times. In the same manner, the reduced size and weight of laptops makes them even more valuable as their processing power and advanced functionality cannot be accounted for elsewhere. With the rising popularity of social networking connections and the growing preference for flexibility in when and how work can be conducted, consumers are more inclined to accept carrying three devices at once. However, the most optimal balance—particularly for those aged 18-35—is carrying a maximum two devices at one time. Convergent devices play an integral role in closing this crucial gap in that they can meld necessary functionality from two or more devices into one portable tool. Previous concerns were that convergent devices would combine capabilities but do so with less power or reliability than the singular parts. However, today’s marketplace has offered robust, stylistic and highly functional convergent devices for ownership: the PSP, the smartphone and eReaders are notable ones. Consumers will carry up to three devices but the preferences split by a generational gap. As vendors manage consumers’ interest and potential engagement with portable devices and their converged manifestations, understanding of the generational split in preferences will allow for more strategic marketing initiatives. A noticeable divergence exists between consumers between the ages of 35-44—those younger than 34 years of age are most willing to carry two portable devices, while their counterparts of 45 years of age or older prefer carrying only one device to a much greater extent. More than likely the popularity of mp3 players, gaming devices, video players, reading tools and messaging keyboards have made it more acceptable to younger consumers to carry a few devices at once—there are few devices on the market that can cover all of the aforementioned functionalities at a high quality. The three device
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