Market Overview

Smartphone Sales To Rebound After 3-Year Low: Accenture

Smartphone Sales To Rebound After 3-Year Low: Accenture

The likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung can look ahead to the new year with improved optimism.

The results of Accenture's Dynamic Digital Consumers survey of 26,000 consumers across 26 countries showed smartphone sales are likely to rebound this year after hitting a three-year low in 2016.

Better security, new functions, improved performance and device refresh schedules were attributed to the resurgence in demand.

Chinese Juggernaut Rolls On

The survey found that Chinese consumers are driving the upside in the smartphone market, with 74 percent of consumers saying they intend to buy a smartphone in the coming 12 months, up from 61 percent in the previous survey. This compares to the 54 percent figure for the overall global market, which is also a hike from 48 percent last year.

Consumers in the United States and India also showed increased willingness to buy a smartphone, with the percentage of consumers intending to buy a smartphone over the coming 12 months increasing to 79 percent from 68 percent in India and to 52 percent from 38 percent in the United States.

"Improved features and falling prices are key reasons consumers around the world are signaling a desire to buy new smartphones," said David Sovie, global managing director for Accenture's Electronics and High-Tech business. "Growing acceptance of services powered by artificial intelligence, such as voice assistants, is also fueling this market upswing. 2017 will be the year when artificial intelligence goes mainstream in consumer devices."

Smartwatches And Fitness Monitors Underwhelm

However, stung by high prices and persistent concerns about security and privacy of personal data, demand for connected devices such as smartwatches and fitness monitors could remain sluggish this year. The percentage of people intending to buy these devices was almost static at 14 percent.

AI: New Flavor

The survey also showed that consumers are enamored by artificial intelligence capabilities such as digital voice assistants. Products that use AI such as, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)'s Echo and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google Home recognize a human's voice commands, such as "turn on the light" and "play music" and answer questions such as "what time is it?" and "what is the temperature outside?"

Although merely 4 percent of the respondents said they own such a device today, two-thirds of owners said they use their device on a regular basis, showing strong acceptance of this new technology.

The survey also found that market momentum for connected devices could stall unless the industry overcomes obstacles such as consumer concerns about the privacy of their personal data being stolen or compromised and high prices of the products relative to the value delivered.

Posted-In: accenture David SovieNews Tech Media General Best of Benzinga


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