Mobility Shapes Consumer Gadget Spending, says Gartner Study

News Article - Friday, 15 March 2013 14:05

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

The consumerisation of IT continues to grow as the latest study from analysts at Gartner has proved. The research has found that household adoption of technology products, which are favouring gadgets and mobile services and those that offer networking capabilities, is shifting faster than expected.

This is for the most part due to the way that mobility is shaping consumer behaviour in "fundamental ways”, Gartner say. This is changing the way in which people organise their lives and the spaces they live in.

The research took the form of a survey, which was carried out in July and August of last year and included responses from more than 8000 people across the globe. Participants from the UK, US, Canada and the ‘BRIC’ countries all took part.

"Early adopters tend to leave the home laptop in the bag and are abandoning the home office in favour (sic) of the lounge room couch or bedroom to do online activities in a more comfortable environment using a tablet or smartphone," said Nick Ingelbrecht, research director at Gartner.

"This early adopter trend is becoming mainstream consumer behaviour. Consequently, technology and service providers are faced with no alternative but to innovate for mobility. If they do nothing, they face a potential train wreck as consumers abandon gadgets, services and applications that do not fully support changing mobile lifestyles."

On average, household spending on tablets, laptops, eReaders and digital cameras has fallen, despite the overall increase in household penetration. The primary drivers for this are tumbling prices and an increase in performance when it comes to gadgets. This has also led many households to make multiple purchases, meaning they own more than one device, in many cases.

The survey found that legacy devices, such as televisions and desktop PCs have "the highest mean years between upgrade”, with consumers tending to replace them at around the four and a half year mark.

Newer products such as tablets have yet to be replaced in most cases and it’s thought that in the future, upgrading legacy products will be deferred whilst consumers concentrate on buying the latest innovations.

"Where they are occurring, the lengthening of gadget replacement cycles reflects a mixture of economic pressures on the consumer wallet and hardware product maturity," said Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"Increasingly, upgrades are taking place in software, content and application ecosystems supported by cloud services, relieving the requirement for hardware upgrades."

More details are available in the Gartner report User Survey Analysis: Consumer Gadget Spending Shifts to Mobile and Multiscreen Home Entertainment, which is available on Gartner’s website.

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