Recession is over for mobile market, TNS says

The mobile industry can stop worrying about slipping sales and shrinking ARPUs – the economic recession will be over for them come 2010, according to custom research company TNS. In its annual Global Telecoms and Insights survey of 24,000 consumers released today, the firm found that 53% of Americans plan to buy a mobile phone in the next six months, up from just 24% this time last year.

Of those consumers planning to purchase, 29% will buy a touchscreen and 23% plan to purchase a Qwerty-keypad equipped mobile phone. TNS interpreted these survey results to mean that consumer confidence is on the rise, as is pent-up demand as a slew of new smartphones comes to market.

“Purchase intent is at unprecedented levels and has risen dramatically since last year, which presents the industry with an opportunity to drive handset sales and simultaneously build incremental revenue through content and data plans,” said TNS senior vice president Tom Buehrer in the release.

Netbooks will also be benefactors of the forecasted uptick in spending. They haven’t made a sizable dent on the market yet, but 19% of Americans told TNS they are likely to buy one in the next six months, compared to 19% who will buy larger notebooks and the only 5% that will purchase desktop PCs.

Despite the rosy outlook TNS is predicting, the firm also noted that consumers find it hard to distinguish amongst the plethora of new devices they have to choose from. Also, 27% of Americans cited ease-of-use problems as a deterrent to using some of the new mobile services offered, but that is a whole other issue that carriers’ will have to address.

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