Consumers Less Likely to Buy Single-Function Electronics, While Plans to Purchase Multi-Function Devices Are on the Rise,

  Consumers Less Likely to Buy Single-Function Electronics, While Plans to
  Purchase Multi-Function Devices Are on the Rise, Accenture Survey Finds

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- January 7, 2013

Consumers are less likely to buy single-function electronic products in the
next year, while intentions to buy multi-function devices have increased
dramatically, according to a new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey. Accenture
summarizes these annual survey findings in its new 2013 Global Consumer
Electronics Products and Services Usage Report released today.

Conducted in September 2012, the survey explored consumer usage and spending
habits for 16 types of consumer electronic devices, 11 of which perform a
single function and five that execute multiple functions. Consumers’
intentions to purchase single-function devices have fallen or remained flat
compared with the prior year. For example, the percentage of survey
respondents planning to buy BluRay DVD players fell slightly, from 11 percent
to 10 percent, while purchase intentions for digital photo cameras, digital
video cameras, and game consoles remained flat.

In sharp contrast, the percentage of respondents planning to buy
multi-function devices in the next year increased significantly, from 16
percent a year ago to 36 percent for desktop and laptop PCs; from 27 percent
to 41 percent for smartphones; from 20 percent to 33 percent for HDTVs; and
from 16 percent to 23 percent for tablet computers.

“The consumer electronics market is now predominantly a four-horse race among
multi-function devices--PCs, smartphones, tablets and HDTVs,” said Mattias
Lewren, managing director for Accenture’s Electronics and High-Tech industry
group. “This development amounts to a call to action for electronics
manufacturers. They need to focus squarely on innovative devices with multiple
applications, from browsing to media consumption to communications in various
settings. Consumers want ‘do-it-all’ capabilities in various sizes and user
experiences that fit their different lifestyle needs.”

Some bright spots for single-function electronics

While purchase intent for single-function devices is largely flat or
declining, a few bright spots emerged, namely basic mobile phones, global
positioning satellite (GPS) devices, health and fitness devices and, to a
lesser extent, eBooks. The percentage of survey respondents intending to
purchase these devices rose, albeit from a relatively small base: basic mobile
phones (increased from 6 percent to 10 percent), GPS (from 9 percent to 11
percent), health and fitness devices (from 7 percent to 9 percent) and eBooks
(from 8 percent to 9 percent). But the functionality of even these devices is
increasingly being integrated into multi-function products such as

Platform Loyalty

The survey also polled respondents on operating system preferences. It
revealed a lack of loyalty to any single operating system for use on most
multi-function devices. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) indicated they might
consider purchasing a mobile or computing device with a different operating
system. About one-fourth (24 percent) said they would consider a switch to
“see what else is on the market”; 23 percent to “have a better user experience
with another operating system”; and 23 percent to “get access to more
innovative services and applications.”

“The lack of consumer commitment to any single platform offers numerous
opportunities for electronics manufacturers,” added Lewren. “The platforms
that offer a more intuitive user experience, and diverse and sticky
applications with compatibility across devices, will be key to creating
consumer loyalty in this four-horse race.”


In September 2012, Accenture conducted an online survey of 11,000 consumers in
11 countries: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South
Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were
equally split by gender and were at least 18 years old. The survey focused on
consumer electronics devices including: basic mobile phones, digital video
cameras, PCs (including desktops, laptops, netbooks and ultrabooks), digital
photo cameras, BluRay DVD players, non-BluRay DVD players, digital video
recorders (DVRs), eBook readers, game consoles, GPS devices, HDTVs, health and
fitness devices, portable gaming devices, portable music players, regular TVs,
smartphones, and tablet computers. For the full report, visit For an infographic of this report, visit

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 people serving clients in more
than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive
capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive
research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with
clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The
company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended
Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is


Charlie Hartley, 973-301-3341 or 973-590-9920
Anthony Suarez, 212-614-4331 or 973-590-9920
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