Report: Consumers Preferring Multi-Function Devices

Collage-Phone-Camera-CamcorderAttention makers of single-use electronic devices (digital cameras, DVD players, etc): you may want to add some other features if you want to keep consumers interested in buying your product. According to Accenture’s annual Global Products and Services Usage report, consumer intent to purchase single-use devices is dropping, while the intentions to buy multi-function products is on the increase. 

“Consumers are gravitating towards [devices that] are capable of doing lots of different things,” Kumu Puri, global consumer technology lead for Accenture, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s going to take a different mindset on the part of the industry players to compete as the market evolves.”



In a survey conducted in September 2012, Accenture explored consumer usage and spending habits for 16 types of consumer electronics devices, 11 of which were single-use devices and five of which were multi-function. When it came to the single use-devices, consumer purchase intent has either fallen or remained flat compared with the previous year. In contrast, purchase intent for multi-function devices increased significantly for all of the products.

“What we’re seeing from consumer purchase intent, they are coalescing around four multifunction devices,” Puri says, referring to computers, tablets, smartphones and HDTVs that offer some added connectivity and features to their basic functions.

Despite the interest in multi-use devices, there were some bright spots for single-use devices, particularly among feature phones, GPS devices and e-readers. Purchase intent for devices in these categories rose, though they were from small bases, and even the functionality of these devices is being integrated into multi-function products like smartphones, Puri notes.

“There’s always going to be a niche for these single function devices, but when you think about the bulk of the market, interest will be in these multi-function devices,” she says. 

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