Average US Mobile Phone Owner Spends $60 on Accessories

Posted by at 7:22 am on August 25, 2009

According to the results of a recent survey conducted in the United States by ABI Research, the typical US owner of a mobile phone spends about $60 on accessories over the life of the handset. Related market size research reveals that the global wireless handset accessories market is worth about $63 billion in 2009.

Among other questions the survey, which was conducted in July 2009, asked 1000 adult consumers which of the many available accessories they acquired at the time the handset was purchased, and where they sourced the accessories they bought later.

According to industry analyst Michael Morgan, “Chargers -“ car chargers, standard chargers and additional chargers -“ led the field in terms of numbers purchased. Carrying or protective cases were the next most popular, followed by batteries and memory cards.” Other accessory types include hands-free kits, headsets, and cosmetic enhancements.

Within those categories, age demographics played a role in the popularity of accessories. Younger (under 40) purchasers tended more than those over 40 to buy batteries, data connection cables and protective cases at the time of the phone’s purchase. Says Morgan, “The popularity of data cables and protective cases among younger buyers reflects the greater likelihood that they own a higher-priced media-focused handset or smartphone.”

Charger purchasing patterns are likely to change quite dramatically in a couple of years as the GSMA’s universal charger interface starts to penetrate the market.

Where do consumers buy their accessories? In this respect particularly the survey’s results are US-specific, given the leading role retail stores operated by the major mobile service providers play there. Across the board about half of all accessories were bought in these outlets, with major retail stores generally running second. Online sales were surprisingly low for some kinds of accessories.

The survey’s results are summarized in a Research Brief, “Mobile Device Accessories: US Consumer Purchasing Trends and Channel Analysis”   which concentrates on 16 key accessory segments and eight acquisition channels to identify the accessories US consumers are buying, where they are buying, and when.

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