Carriers want to provide a signature smartphone that could simultaneously increase loyalty as well as bring in new customers. While recent signature smartphones were released with great fanfare, the perception is that none of them triggered a shift in consumer affinity or carrier anxiety towards the iPhone brand.
MOBILE DEVICES AND PLATFORMS The Tortoise(s) and the Hare: Examining the True Potential of Today’s Signature Smartphones 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 September 2009. © 2009 Interpret, LLC The Tortoise(s) and the Hare: Examining the True Potential of Today’s Signature Smartphones Catalyst: Carriers want to provide a signature smartphone that could simultaneously increase loyalty as well as bring in new customers. While recent signature smartphones were released with great fanfare, the perception is that none of them triggered a shift in consumer affinity or carrier anxiety towards the iPhone brand. Core Questions: 1) To what extent have consumers embraced different mobile handsets for key social and media activities? 2) Which smartphones are best for creating a balance between loyalty and defection? 3) How might certain age groups shed light on which brands have a stronger foundation for future success? Interpret Insight: While Apple’s mobile products are highly prized, its exclusivity has required carriers to look for other brands and partnerships to strengthen their handset portfolio. According to Interpret’s MobileTrax, the “other players” such as the T-Mobile G1, the Palm Pre and the BlackBerry Curve have gradually but definitively established a presence with smartphone consumers in relation to their heavy mobile usage, high carrier allegiance and strong youth appeal. The race is far from over, but the key entrants are beginning to level the playing field. In terms of sales, buzz and market savvy, Apple has done an exceptional job of showcasing the iPhone brand’s features and capabilities in an accessible and exciting manner. However, the glow of its success has overshadowed an intriguing shift in multimedia usage, carrier loyalty and the demographic compositions of other key signature smartphones. Having passed two billion mobile app downloads at the end of September, the iPhone has firmly established itself as a powerhouse in facilitating the development, organization and adoption of wildly diverse mobile apps. The typical iPhone user averages about 33 minutes each day engaging with mobile apps, and this seemingly insurmountable lead in public mindshare has enabled Apple to easily exercise its dominance over other top mobile activities as well. Contrary to both critical and public assumption, several brands are generating extensive usage of and interaction with online mobile pursuits. Owners of the G1 spend approximately 47.9 minutes each day browsing the internet and 13.16 minutes watching movies on their phone—noticeably outpacing both the iPhone and the smartphone average. Meanwhile, Pre owners are engaging with social media networks on their handset for longer periods of time (23.56 minutes). Given the iPhone’s exceptional touchscreen and media experience, this discre
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