When it comes to smartphone capabilities … buyers want the basics.

With the plethora of smartphone models that seem to be released with ever-increasing frequently these days, one might think that the innovative features being added to the new smartphone models would be in high demand.

After all, the demand for smartphones looks as though it’s unquenchable; quarterly shipments of smartphones numbered some 366 million devices during the 3rd quarter of 2019 alone, according to data compiled by business consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

But the reality appears to be quite different. Recently, technology market research firm Global Web Index studied the popularity of various smartphone features, looking at a large sample of more than 550,000 consumers in the USA and UK.

As it turns out, the most desired smartphone feature is long battery life. And in fact, the top four smartphone features in terms of consumer importance don’t look like anything particularly jazzy:

  • Battery life: ~77% consider it the most desired smartphone feature
  • Storage capability: ~65%
  • Camera picture quality: ~62%
  • Screen resolution: ~48%

At the other end of the scale are four features which aren’t animating the market in any great way:

  • 5G compatibility: ~27%
  • Biometric security features: ~27%
  • Digital wellness features: ~16%
  • Virtual reality capabilities: ~10%

There’s no question that the newest smartphone models can do a lot more than their earlier iterations. But users want them to do the basics — and to do them well. Other capabilities are simply ornaments on the tree.

For more findings from the Global Web Index study, click here.

One thought on “When it comes to smartphone capabilities … buyers want the basics.

  1. Every mass tech product goes through its “knob-job” phase, where engineers build-in esoteric functions — simply because they can.

    Some readers may recall the enormous stacked stereo systems of the 1970s, with their rows of blinking lights, tone-control sliders and push-buttons.
    None of that was actually necessary for good sound. It was just the byproduct of an engineering love-affair with the transistor.

    Similarly, a continuous ability to talk, see well and listen clearly is all the public really wants from a mobile phone. Better pictures, better audio, easier access all matter; the rest is mere fluff.

    Inventors won’t be able to resist new features of marginal value until phones are totally old hat and as uninteresting as key chains.

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