Phone buyers demand 4G, zero contract plans: Google

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The availability of 4G and the absence of contract plans are important considerations for Americans when buying a smartphone, according to research jointly conducted by Compete and search giant Google.

For 31 per cent of the respondents, 4G is an essential factor in making smartphone choices, while 41 per cent consider the absence of contract plans to be important.

However, the major reason why people buy is to upgrade their phone, according to 42 per cent of the respondents. A desire for the most advanced technology was the main motivation for 35 per cent of the respondents, up from 25 per cent last year.

Interestingly, 33 per cent of smartphone buyers chose a brand first before deciding on a carrier.

The availability of non-exclusive smartphones also encouraged many people to switch to a different carrier. In fact, 30 per cent of the respondents shifted to another carrier, which marks an increase of 39 per cent from last year. Moreover, 66 per cent of respondents mulled two or more phone models, while 47 per cent considered two or more carriers.

Another notable change in consumer behaviour is that more shoppers are making queries for potential smartphones using mobile devices. In fact, the number of respondents who accessed the net using tablets and other handsets to research particular phone models has tripled year-over-year.

In particular, online video has become a vital source of information for people who are planning to buy a smartphone. In fact, 40 per cent of the respondents who watched an internet video about handsets went to a store to examine the product personally.

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