Best Amongst the Equals: How a Consumer Chooses his smartphone

The Article aims to go beyond technology and brands/models to understand how a typical cutomer would go about choosing his next smartphone

The smartphone markets are now in a stage where it looks like post warzone with quite a few heroes standing in a suspended animation. If looked at closely, most of the top smartphones out there in the market have reached a stage where technologically there is very little to differentiate, at least for layman, who also happens to be an ultimate buyer. Without getting into any specifics as regards the brands or models it is important to analyze the very few differentiating factors which lures the ultimate buyer to pick his next “toy” of choice.

  • It’s all Design and Hardware now– The success of any smartphone out there is hugely determined by its innovative design and the hardware capabilities “hardwired” into it. The screensize, resolutions, responsiveness, cameras, dimensions, weight, keypad formats, inputs, compatibility with other gadgets and most important of all- the overall looks.
  • Applications and Application tie ups– With the technology equally superior amongst the most smartphones, applications, application diversity, availability and exclusivity plays a major role in choosing the ultimate winner. The peer and word of mouth factor plays a humongous role when it comes to applications
  • Operating system and its functionality– The OS is the heart and soul of any smartphone but from the consumers perspective, it’s the “connect” they achieve from it in terms of the functionality of any particular system. That’s the reason certain smartphones do well in certain geographies or age groups
  • The Loyalty Factor and Past Performance– It’s a huge factor influencing the next purchase. A RIM loyals are the best example of this phenomenon, no matter what a new phone may offer, the Blackberry will be their soul mate and the loyalty factor is impossible without the impeccable past performance record
  • Operator Tie-ups– Monopolistic or duopolistic success of new variants of any smartphone manufacturer’s fate in any particular geography is directly determined by the tie-ups or agreements that they have with the telecom providers for exclusivity or distribution
  • The Hype factor– This has become the most crucial factor for success of any new models entering the market in today’s ideal world. The hype not only ensures a roaring pre-book but also a roaring replacement effect.

These are some of the key factors that influence a buyer ultimately in choosing the next smartphone. As envisaged above, most of these factors are closely knit to the individualistic requirements and perceptions of the customers and it important for the manufactures to live up to expectations to make sure that the next sale is bagged by a model from their stable.

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