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Expectations for the Next-Generation Mobile Phone

As more consumers transition to smartphones that are intended for internet access, their device performance expectations evolve -- sometimes in ways that were not anticipated by device manufacturers or mobile network service providers.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, the rapid adoption and growth of smartphones -- and of other mobile computing devices -- have pushed the expectation needle for the ideal feature set to new levels.

As a result, most handsets today already include a multitude of features like a digital camera, GPS, email capability, touchscreen, and speakerphone, among others.

In-Stat's latest study of U.S. mobile phone service subscribers provides some insight into what features are included in respondents’ ideal phone.

Surprisingly, 75 percent of the surveyed respondents included 4G in that category. It appears that the perceived need for greater broadband speed is apparent to most users.

“Although 4G is an important feature for handset buyers, there is a lot of confusion surrounding 4G,” says Greg Potter, Analyst at In-Stat.

When survey respondents were asked which carrier offered the fastest 4G speeds, the majority of the respondents either didn’t know or felt they were the same across carriers. So, perhaps 4G has already become a commodity "must-have" capability for some mobile device users.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:
  • Consumers are becoming more entrenched in their choice of operating system, 36 percent will only consider one phone OS, compared with only 23 percent last year.
  • Over 20 percent of T-Mobile users answering the survey said they were planning on switching carriers in the next 12 months.
  • Over 40 percent of respondents have no interest at all in using an NFC payment system.
  • The percentage of people willing or might be willing to pay for Bluetooth is declining -- going from 45 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2011.

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