Most aspects of smartphone purchasing – replacement cycle, triggers for replacement, most popular price range, and importance of processor speed and security-related features – have not changed significantly vs. previous Grassroots® surveys, while awareness and importance of the triple camera features have increased.
Interviews with smartphone users in China revealed that the replacement cycle remains consistent vs. previous Grassroots® surveys: 13% purchase a new smartphone every year or more frequently, 42% every one to two years, 31% every two to three years, and 10% every three years or less frequently. Slow processor speed continues to be the most important trigger among sources for smartphone replacement, followed by current smartphone being broken/malfunctioning, new/more-advanced features and insufficient memory/storage capacity.
How frequently do you purchase a new smartphone?
Source: Grassroots® Research
Indeed, when shopping for a smartphone, faster processor speed continues to be the most important consideration among sources, followed by more memory/storage capacity and longer battery life. In the next six months, 30% definitely will purchase a new smartphone, and 53% may consider doing so, including 19% who are waiting for 5G smartphones, similar to the October 2018 Grassroots® survey. Although CNY 2,000–CNY 3,999 (USD 298–USD 596) continues to be the most popular price range for a new smartphone purchase, there continues to be more interest among sources in higher-end smartphones – particularly in the CNY 4,000–CNY 4,999 (USD 597–USD 745) price range – vs. October.
What are your most important considerations when shopping for a new smartphone?
(Select up to three.)
Source: Grassroots® Research
Meanwhile, 62% of sources were aware of the triple camera feature in some newly launched smartphone models – a significant increase vs. October. Among these, 62% believe the major benefit is better photo quality, and 32% cited the optical zoom function. Among sources who were aware, 52% would be willing to pay a price premium of up to CNY 500 (USD 74) for the feature, and 73% would be willing to pay up to CNY 800 (USD 119). Security-related smartphone features – under-display fingerprint sensor as well as face recognition – reportedly continue to be more important than other features, such as a triple camera, augmented reality and a bigger screen with a narrow edge; there is a significant increase in the importance of the triple camera feature vs. October. Meanwhile, 85% of sources were aware of recently launched smartphones with a foldable screen. Among these, 65% are interested in buying one: 54% would be willing to pay a price premium of up to CNY 2,000 (USD 298) for the feature, and 80% would be willing to pay up to CNY 5,000 (USD 745). Looking ahead, 27% of sources definitely will upgrade to 5G when it becomes available on the market, while 50% will consider it depending on pricing and offers.
What would most likely trigger you to purchase a new smartphone?
(Select up to three.)
Source: Grassroots® Research
Grassroots® Research is a division of Allianz Global Investors that commissions investigative market research for asset-management professionals. Research data used to generate Grassroots® Research reports are received from independent, third-party contractors who supply research that, as far as permissible by applicable laws and regulations, may be paid for by commissions generated by trades executed on behalf of clients.
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