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“Phablets” Generating Strong Consumer Buying Interest Worldwide, Accenture Survey Finds

Phablets are generating strong consumer buying interest worldwide, particularly in emerging countries, an Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey has found. Blending smartphone and tablet PC features, phablets have five-to-seven inch screen sizes – larger than the four-to-five inches of conventional smartphones.

The survey revealed that 57 percent of consumers plan to buy a smartphone this year and, of those, nearly half (48 percent) prefer to buy a phablet rather than a conventional smartphone.

“The phablet screen size is hitting a sweet spot for a large percentage of consumers wanting more digitally connected lifestyles,” said David Sovie, managing director of Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology group. “To capitalize on this, consumer technology companies should consider adjusting their digital strategies, research and development investments, product roadmaps and supply chains to focus more on phablet business opportunities and less so, in some cases, on the conventional smartphone market.”

These findings are the latest to be released from the 2014 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey that explores consumer electronics spending and usage of 23,000 respondents in 23 countries.

Emerging markets

The survey also revealed that consumer preferences for phablets are stronger in emerging countries than developed countries. Of the consumers planning to buy a smartphone, 67 percent in India, 66 percent in China and 65 percent in South Africa said they would prefer to buy a phablet device. Consumers in developed countries, by contrast, were less partial to buying phablets. In the United States, for example, 40 percent indicated a preference to buy a phablet. Similarly, nearly a third (30 percent) of German respondents and only 19 percent of Japan’s participants prefer a phablet.

“Phablet demand in developed countries is significant, yet even bigger business opportunities are coalescing in emerging markets,” added Sovie. “Among those, the most lucrative opportunity will likely be in China, because it is one of the world’s largest smartphone markets. Consumer technology companies need to broaden their phablet product development and sales initiatives to target larger regional markets keen to buy phablets.”

The survey uncovered more country-specific results regarding those who planned to buy a smartphone this year who expressed a preference for a phablet. The results:

  • Turkey, 64 percent
  • Indonesia, 61 percent
  • South Korea, 51 percent
  • Russia, 50 percent
  • United Arab Emirates, 50 percent
  • Czech Republic, 49 percent
  • Brazil, 48 percent
  • Spain, 46 percent
  • Mexico, 47 percent
  • Saudi Arabia, 43 percent
  • Italy, 42 percent
  • Canada, 39 percent
  • Australia, 37 percent
  • France, 37 percent
  • United Kingdom, 37 percent
  • Sweden, 31 percent
  • Netherlands, 30 percent

Interest in buying larger screens extends to tablets

The survey also found that 44 percent of respondents are planning to buy a tablet PC this year. Of those, 72 percent prefer the full-size tablets rather than micro-mini-sized versions, compared with 20 percent who prefer the smaller versions. Eight percent did not know.

Methodology

Accenture conducted an annual online survey of 23,000 consumers in 23 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. Of those 23,000, more than 13,000 indicated they plan to buy a smartphone this year. The sample size in each country was proportionate to the size of the online population. Respondents represented all age groups beginning at 14. The survey polled respondents about their interest in buying numerous consumer electronics devices including phablets, smartphones, tablet PCs, PCs and TVs.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 289,000 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$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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