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Mobile Phone Purchasing Habits

Size & Look are the Main Concerns of Women & Teens when Purchasing Mobile Phones in the US

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of Mobile Phones and Phone Service – US – August 2006 to their offering.

In 2005, the United States mobile phone industry generated revenues of $129 billion. Cell phone ownership is most impacted by household income, while cell phone usage and attitudes are most influenced by age. We identify multiple high usage groups that drive adoption: young adults (18-44) with a penchant for technological trends, high-income technology-oriented consumers who enjoy acquiring the latest gadgets, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, and households with children.

Growth in the smaller handset segment is driven by new subscriber growth and a surge in replacement buying, with existing subscribers upgrading to newer handsets that offer picture-taking functionality, among other capabilities. Fashionable design has also become a driver. Women and teens are more concerned about the size and look of the phone, while men pay more attention to functionality.

While the market is expected to continue growing, future profitability will depend on sharper brand identities that are better able to target consumer segments. When selecting a phone, currently brand is only a consideration for a quarter of cell phone owners. More respondents select based on the appearance of the phone, and current advertising for both cell-phones and service plans is largely interchangeable. Service providers tout price or reception, while handset manufacturers show off video functions that are equally available on the phones of competitors. However, when the current wave of technological innovation wears off, handset manufacturers and service providers will have to find other means to keep consumers coming back to the market.

In this report, we clearly identify the principal external factors driving or curtailing growth. Exclusive consumer research reveals the attitudes, needs and behavior of consumers, with analysis broken down both by demographic characteristics, and by segment.

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Six years of specific sales data provide a factual and impartial presentation of the market as a whole. We also evaluate the performance of individual sectors in the market, and provides information about the major companies and brands. Using the SPSS forecasting package, we create a five-year forecast of U.S. retail sales, revealing potential opportunities for growth and product development.

For the purposes of this report, mobile phones are defined as any wireless phone providing voice or data services via cellular or digital service. PDAs with cell phone capability are included.

Companies Mentioned

  • Cingular Wireless
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Sprint Nextel
  • T-Mobile
  • Alltel
  • Motorola
  • Samsung Electronics
  • LG Electronics
  • Nokia

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