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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Multiple devices.... quick comment

Interesting panel discussion, between Orange, Qualcomm & Acer.

Orange & Acer are both of the belief that people are happy to have multiple mobile devices, albeit maybe not carrying them all, all of the time. Qualcomm is more emphatic about its own research showing consumers are happy to carry 2 devices, some of them 3, but very few 4.

Depends a little on the definition of "carry", however - pocket vs. bag, for example.

The Acer speaker made a good point about needing to tie them all together better "which device has the photo of my friend?". But he was very emphatic that there is no need for a "Swiss-Army" all-in-one.

Interestingly, the moderator (from the US) seemed surprised about this, citing US research which shows people tend to prefer a single phone/device. I suspect this once again reflects the impact of cheap handsets & non-contractual prepay SIMs that are used in the rest of the world - there is a much lower entry barrier to getting a second phone in Europe.

3 comments:

Barbara Ballard said...

This sort of research is extremely dependent on how the research is designed. "Would you prefer to carry one device that does everything, or multiple devices?" is a terrible question for about five reasons.

One takeaway from Mobile Web Summit last week: operator pricing in Africa and other places is so competitive that the more affluent customers carry 3, 4, or 5 devices so they can choose the operator with the best price for what they want to do.

Paul said...

""more affluent customers carry 3, 4, or 5 devices so they can choose the operator with the best price for what they want to do.""

Is this not counter-intuitive? Do the most affluent customers really only carry multiple devices so they can get the lowest cost? TCO has to be much higher in this case, in the purchase and replacement of multiple devices, and the sheer overhead of managing contents over multiple devices, as well as constant price comparison required to know that the data session should be on the T-Mobile pre-pay?

This is why the bulk of users prefer a few devices with some sensible bundling (to manage the price to a comprimise level) and perhaps reserve some applications to being used with a separate SIM in the existing device.

Dean Bubley said...

Barbara - agreed on the fact wording is important if it's a simple survey. The impression that both Qualcomm & Acer gave was that they'd been pretty thorough with their research.

Paul - bear in mind that in most of Africa & many other prepay-centric markets, there is differential pricing depending on whether your call is on- or off-net. So you use an Orange phone to call your Orange friends, or a Vodafone one for Voda contacts. It's not about content or data, mostly voice/SMS - and in this scenario, you don't even need to sync contacts between the phones.

Dean