Deloitte: Consumers Hooked On New Mobile Phones

Cell phone manufacturers have job security, it would appear.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers still replace their phones every two years, despite the lack of device subsidies, according to Deloitte.

Sixty-three percent of consumers have visited a carrier store in the last year, making retail stores an important connection to the mobile consumer, and almost one in five consumers has visited a carrier story in the last month, according to Deloitte’s 2017 “Global Mobile Consumer Survey.” Ninety-two percent of consumers reported using their phones while shopping.

With nearly 264 million Americans using their mobile phones 12 billion times per day, in the aggregate, the mobile ecosystem remains one of the most important enablers of the way we live and work in 2017, according to Deloitte.



This year, smartphone penetration reached 82% overall with ages 18-24 having the highest penetration at a staggering 93%. In fact, the strongest growth in ownership for two years running now is among those aged 55 and older.

Eighty-nine percent of consumers looked at their phones within an hour of waking up, a yearly increase of 1%. Similarly, 81% of those surveyed look at their phones an hour before going to sleep, consistent with 2016. Almost half (47%) of U.S. consumers are making a conscious effort to reduce or limit their smartphone usage, mostly by keeping it out of sight or turning its functions off.

Wearables are becoming mainstream for millennials, as 35% of 25-34 year olds say they use fitness bands, 30% use smart watches and 20% virtual reality headsets. 

Smartphone usage and growth rates for both devices and apps have matured after years of robust growth, and most Americans not only own smartphones but are fairly consistent in the way they use them. Conversely, what is growing is consumer interest in a range of exciting “internet of things” related applications and services and the industry has done a strong job of keeping consumer interest high in the potential of internet of things and fifth-generation networks (5G), as well as unlimited data plans and device upgrades.

While consumers may have reservations about privacy as it relates to the emerging internet of things platforms, they are showing very few reservations about sharing personal data when entering into agreements or making purchases online. 

Only 13% say they never share personal information such as name, email address, phone number, photos, contact list, browsing activity, purchase history and health metrics. More than 80% of consumers believe that companies use their personal data and 78% believe that their personal data are shared with third parties. 

The “2017 Global Mobile Consumer Survey” covers six continents, 32 countries and more than 51,000 respondents. In addition to exploring year-over-year results and key insights, the survey is also designed to highlight differences between consumers across generational divides — capturing findings from six distinct age groups from ages 18 to 75.

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