I was greeted by a piece of mail from my bank when I arrived home today. It was unusual in that it was in a nice envelope and it felt like someone actually stuffed it by hand. In it, was a letter from my branch manager, telling me that our branch was closing. It said that I should not worry – all my accounts would be transferred to another branch and that I didn’t have to lift a finger. Unfortunately, that branch is 24.4 miles away. The letter suggested that if I had any questions, to call the branch manager…so I did.
Ask many companies what will be the most attractive market for their technology devices in 2015 and don’t be surprised if the default answer is China. But it’s time for sellers of these products to carry out a slight recalibration of their targets. Our new data reveals that India has grabbed the lead from China as the biggest growth market over the coming year.
Within as little as three years, 69% of the planet’s population will own a smartphone. That’s 5.2 billion people with a smartphone by 2017, from Abuja to London, Mumbai to Zagreb. As the market continues to expand it gets closer to saturation point. What impact will this have on the average sales price of these increasingly ubiquitous devices?
Sales of higher priced smartphones set to decline
As financial institutions continue to struggle to attract younger customers and companies compete to capture a share of the ever elusive millennial wallet, we may want to step back and take a closer look at the way their grandparents use their phones and shop online. Like a genetic trait that skips a generation, there is evidence that indicates that the Millennials are much more like their grandparents than we could have ever imagined, especially when it comes to online and mobile shopping.
Picture the scene: It is the 1990s, and a family is gathered around the dinner table to discuss the events of the day. The landline rings and the teenage girl leaps up to answer it, to which her father responds ‘leave it! We are eating’. Fast forward to the 2000s, and the Nokia 3310 means that the same scene plays out without anyone having to leave the table; ‘stop texting! We are eating’. In 2014 the story has changed more drastically. The teenage daughter sends a ‘sorry I’m running late’ message to the family’s WhatsApp group, whilst the rest of the family sit around the dinner table (if it is a special occasion, or wherever they lay their hat if not) each of them engrossed in the 4inch screen they hold in their hands. With the concept of a family dinner changing so drastically in recent years, and the focus switching from face to face interaction with the people around us to online interaction with everyone else, where will this movement take us to next? Perhaps the interactive dining table could be the answer.
As a mind-boggling array of new devices provide a constant supply of information and social connection, consumers are demanding that their TVs keep pace. At this year’s CES and SXSW, smart TVs were at the forefront of the discussion about the evolving role of television. At their core, smart TVs are television consoles that have an internet connection, and are one piece in the “connected TV” landscape. Consumer demand for smart TVs is increasing worldwide, especially in foreign markets. In Germany, for example, more than 60% of new TVs sold are now Smart TVs.
With the headline news at IFA 2014 that Apple will be joining the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Sony in launching a smartwatch, our new global study* offers a unique insight into consumers’ views on wearable technology in China, Germany, South Korea, the UK and the US. What expectations do smartphone owners have for this hot new segment?
Of 5,000 respondents, 29% considered ‘activity tracking’ as a key functionality. The second-highest listed functionality ‘passing phone calls’ saw significantly less support, with 13% of respondents considering it the most important function when deciding to purchase a smartwatch. Meanwhile, for other smartwatch functionalities promoted by manufacturers, none stood out to a majority of consumers:
Sure, we’ve made huge strides in technology in the last decade – but adoption is not only a pragmatic decision, but also one of style. Tesla made electric cars the thing of middle-aged mens’ dreams, with its incredible performance and sleek design coming together to exceed our wildest expectations of what an electric car could become.I mean, we all remember some of the first electric cars. They were at best, nerdy, and at worst, off putting, and sales reflected this critical flaw. Now that Tesla has proven that electric cars can be cool, nearly every car manufacturer has released or is about to release some type of hybrid or fully electric model to the masses.
It has become common currency in recent times to classify Generation Y as uniformly disinterested in or even hostile to driving. However, GfK’s recent study on their attitudes and motivations reveals a much less simplistic picture, with 74% of the 18 – 34 age group appearing in the more tech-savvy and car focused segments.
From activity trackers to data glasses to smart watches, wearable technology is heralded by many as the next big thing. As a result the market is not only becoming crowded but extremely competitive as brands from a range of sectors fight it out for a piece of this big business. But do consumers want to buy their wearables from technology, sport or fashion brands? And does this differ by country?