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

Mon Jan 7, 2013 7:00am EST

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NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
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 smartphones. 

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

"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

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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