Brand, Price Or The Latest Specs: What’s Important When Buying A Smartphone This Holiday Season?

U.S. consumers could be growing weary of the smartphone “spec-war” says a new study by WDS, A Xerox Company (NYSE:XRX). The study found that consumers actually favor ease-of-use over the latest device specifications, with many intimidated by jargon and technical data when choosing a new smartphone.

The study, which tracks buying behavior and smartphone selection criteria across U.S. consumers, has been published in advance of the holiday season, traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for smartphone and tablet sales. A full copy of the study can be downloaded from:

“We’ve interviewed hundreds of consumers to help mobile operators better understand how their customers navigate their way through the complexity of choosing a smartphone,” says Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing at WDS, A Xerox Company. “The study highlights some important buying behaviors that will help mobile operators deliver a better retail experience.”

For example, Deluca-Smith says confusion and apathy over the latest specifications could point to consumers being overloaded with technical data, so it’s important that retail advisors are able to translate the latest features into real-world benefits.

Key findings:

Where do they shop?
  • A physical retail store remains the most popular destination for purchasing a new smartphone. Sixty-seven percent of consumers treat it as their primary destination while only 19% of buyers over 60 would buy their device online.
  • Buyers between 25-34 years and the over-60’s are the most likely groups to research and evaluate smartphones before visiting a store.
  • More than a third of under-24’s will walk into a store knowing the exact make and model of device they want to purchase.

What do they want from their smartphone?
  • The importance of device brand declines with age.
  • Sixty-one percent of consumers stated that having the latest product specifications was of little importance when choosing their smartphone.

What do they want from their mobile operator?
  • Network coverage and service reliability is considered more important than network speed by all age groups.
  • Consumers over 60 are the most price sensitive when it comes to choosing a price plan. They are also the least interested in network speeds.

Download the study* at:

About WDS

WDS, A Xerox Company, provides multi-channel knowledge management, care automation and analytics to help wireless brands deliver a more effective customer service experience and protect customer lifetime value. Driven by our Technology, Services and Consulting practices, it’s our ability to help our clients improve their responsiveness to customer service threats and design failure out of the customer service experience, that means many of the world’s most recognizable wireless brands now trust the outsourcing of their customer service experience to WDS. To find out more, please visit

Note: *Study conducted in Q3 2013 across 550 [bill-paying] U.S. consumers.

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Xerox ® and Xerox and Design ® are trademarks of Xerox in the United States and/or other countries.

WDS, A Xerox Company is the trading name of Wireless Data Services Ltd registered in England and Wales with company number 01714719. Registered address - Wireless Data Services Limited, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4AN. VAT number GB 911330278. While every care has been taken to ensure that the information in this document is correct, WDS cannot accept (and hereby disclaims) any responsibility for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without the prior permission of WDS. Copyright: WDS, A Xerox Company 2013.

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