Surveys: Smartphone Consumers Care About Price, Not 4G

A couple of new surveys show that price is first-and-foremost for mobile phone consumers while 4G is barely on the radar. 66 percent of smartphone owners surveyed by Morpace Market Research that do not currently have 4G are not willing to upgrade to get it before their contract expires. The survey queried 490 smartphone owners.

More important than network speeds was the cost of the the device and the data plan. 65 percent named cost as the single most important factor they considered when buying a new smartphone. Perhaps that's not surprising in today's economy. But 4G in particular was singled out as not being worth an extra penny. One-third of respondents named cost of the data plan as their highest priority when choosing a service provider. One-third named coverage areas of the network. A mere 4 percent said they were in it for the 4G speed. The analysts at Morpace quip that this low interest "may be surprising given the attention that some cell phone network providers have given to that feature in advertising campaigns." Fastest doesn't apparently mean most popular.

Sorry, Carly. No one cares how fast you are ...

Also interesting, despite the massive amount of advertising about the benefits of 4G speeds, nearly half of respondents said they had no idea what these benefits were. The other half seemed to understand that 4G meant faster Internet surfing, faster image resolution, better multi-tasking. These folks can probably also be divided into those who DVR their favorite TV shows and fast-forward through the commercials and those who don't.

While this group of smartphone owners didn't want to pay more for 4G service, they sure wanted their phones to be 4G capable. Some 72 percent say that 4G was an important factor when purchasing their current cell phone.

Meanwhile, another market research firm declared Sprint to be the winner of the dubiously-named 2011 North American Wireless Consumers' Choice Award for Customer Value Enhancement. Although "enhancement" is one of those words that often can't make it through the spam filter, Frost & Sullivan meant this as a compliment. In independent research which surveyed 1,003 U.S. consumers, Sprint came out on top for "customer value enhancement variables, such as overall quality and price," Frost & Sullivan says.

We would say that things like network quality and price aren't "customer value enhancements" but merely "customer value" or even "the stuff the customer expects to get when the customer pays the bill each month." But we admit, we may be quibbling.

This award, too, all comes down to cost. "Sprint edges out its major competitors on customer value enhancement, receiving an average rating of 5.33 on a seven-point scale from its customers, compared to the average ratings of 5.05 to 5.29 for its major competitors," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst, Joerg Ditmer. "In particular, Sprint earns this award on the basis of its strong rating on price relative to its top competitors."

Sprint's talk-plus-data plans range from $70 for metered usage, to $100 per month for its "Simply Everything" plan. In comparison, AT&T no longer offers unlimited data plans.

omegadraco 3 years ago

Price being the number one concern is not surprising especially when you consider that many telecoms are charging an extra fee if you have a 4G capable phone. The other problem is that 4G coverage is not nearly widespread enough for it to be worthwhile for many people. I know in my area it is only available in a couple of cities and typically only outdoors.

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"4G over 3G doesn't mean much to me, I mostly care about is coverage and a good plan. I mostly use me phone for calls, Facebook, BB messenger and some news alerts, so I'm a light user when it comes to Data usage."


Manduh 3 years ago

Screw the phone and the speeds, I WANT THAT BIKE! Hell, toss in the girl too and they'll have a costumer for life! LMAO. ;D

By the way I think I may be the only person left who doesn't even own a cell phone. :) I used to have the original iPhone (won it) but ended up giving it away because I never used it. No sense having an extra bill that's not needed. I just have an iPod touch now so I can still pretty much access the net anytime. (lots of morons still leaving their routers open). Besides, I use to work for Canada's Rogers cell phone company and I HATED IT. I could see how people were getting these insane bills without explanation or reason only to call in and us not able to do anything to help them out. Cell phone plans are ridiculous here, especially if you don't live in the big cities where the unlimited plan/companies exist!

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

[quote user="Manduh"]Hell, toss in the girl too and they'll have a costumer for life! LMAO. ;D[/quote]

"Hey, Hmmmm, YEaaaahhhh. PM Me Yes BeerDevil "


AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="Manduh"]By the way I think I may be the only person left who doesn't even own a cell phone.[/quote]

You're not the only one. I too don't own a cell phone; or any kind of phone really. I am looking into a cell phone though but I'm not going to buy it today, that's for sure.

It's not surprising that people focus on the price. What with the recession and all, they're really looking for a phone that's a good bang for the buck. I mean what's the use of that fancy golden cellphone if you payed a lot for it?

3vi1 3 years ago

I gotta agree: That bike kicks ass, and if I'm going to have vapid salespeople yammering at me at least make them hot.

rapid1 3 years ago

Rofl; I being the early adopter I often am have had a cell phone since 1991 when they released the first Motorola flip phone. However I have also not had a home phone for most of that as well. I have also had a broadband internet since it existed. I remember when it used to be two X2/56K US Robotics modems banded as 1 connection (which was the only reason I had a land line telephone then).

As far as it goes I just went to T-Mobile and got the Sensation, I had initially gotten the G2X, but the phone had issues hardware wise. I know the very near future (next 4 months) will see some serious upgrades in smart phones hardware wise, but I had to have a smart phone. No I did not have to have one because there cool, it is the cheapest way to accept credit cards. Plus I can claim it all on my taxes at the end of the year.

I also heard yesterday I can claim .55 cents a mile on my taxes as well. Either way back to the issue of 4G I basically do not care. I went with T-mobile because no carrier effectively hits my house, and I can use it with no extra charge over wireless A,B,G,N which of course I have active and secure at home. So my service never drops, I have a phone on me always, I have the web if I need it (I saved 5 cents a gallon yesterday on gas with Gas Buddy (an app on android)).

I have the 2Gb data plan, but may downgrade to 200MB depending on what I use. I as I would imagine many on here who have a smart phone am very, very attentive to my data usage on the device, and monitor it. T-Mobile makes it all very easy to monitor, and if I go over my data plan is the throttled down. I use the device for GPS, Calendar, transactions, and several other things. Of course all web or GPS apps are tuned off when there not in use.

So the speed of 3G and 4G are the same to me, but I am glad the device can use it if and when needed. I however don't care which as the speed does not really mean much with what I use it for. SO 3G is absolutely fast enough basically, although having 4G functional with the device is still the best to me if and when available (in device and service even when not used).

rapid1 3 years ago

Oh An as for the woman and the Bike yeah we'll take em Mandah can come to lol :)

ThunderBird 3 years ago

I think that bike is a Hayabusa, at any rate I agree price ranks high on my list but so does coverage.

The price can be free but if I get no coverage at home or traveling what's the point?

On a separate note I do wish these smart phones would get better battery life. That is my #1 complaint.

omegadoom13 3 years ago

"Sorry, Carly. No one cares how fast you are ..." lol!

Hot pink isn't my color. Give me black and red and I'll be happy one happy customer.

inspector 3 years ago

I'll stay on 3G with low prices :). The speed doesn't bother me for what i need it for. Price just needs to be right for it.

rrplay 3 years ago

I agree that overall price is most important to me, as well as reliability of service.Pretty sure that a lot of money is spent on focus groups with the marketing and being out where I live as opposed to Chicago used to participate in quite a few So it would be most interesting to see some the focus groups input with marketing strategies for all the subliminal artifacts mentioned in previous comments..the chick ,the bike, the pink &  oops!   womduh Zagged it again with hers .Smile

rapid1 3 years ago

The funny thing is I have great coverage with T-Mobile so far, and when T-Mo and ATT do become one which I am pretty sure now will happen the coverage should be better I would imagine than any other singular US cellular company. Verizon is great and I was with them for years for that reason. They are just to expensive now to be competitive to me. Att and T-Mo run the best prices in Atlanta (because I can get an ATT discount personally that drop's them to T-Mo levels) followed by about 10 more dollars for Sprint, Verizon is the most expensive by 20-50 per month with a data package. So this whole thing may in turn make Verizon get competitive on pricing, which will in turn do it back to ATT again. I just do not like the lower number of competitors in the market at all. There do seem to be a few others coming, and I would imagine Metro PCS or Sprint will come into Verizon's site's for take over. I don't know if Sprint would be available though they might. I do know Metro would be a good acquisition for Verizon specifically to strengthen there metro networks though I don't know if it would increase there reach nation wide, they seem to be ok on that.

animatortom 3 years ago

She is hotter than Justin long or the PC guy, but that doesnt really help when your bill comes:P

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