Active is: Conducting proprietary research

Consistent trends in smartphone demand

16/08/2019
Couple using a Smarthphone

Summary

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?

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.)

What are your most important considerations when shopping for a new smartphone?  

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.)

What would most likely trigger you to purchase a new smartphone?  

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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Active is: Anticipating what’s ahead

Are we running out of policy options for the next crisis?

by Stefan Hofrichter | 22/08/2019
Are we running out of policy options for the next crisis?

Summary

The global economy will eventually face another downturn, which raises critical questions. With rates so low, what tools do central banks have left to spark a turnaround? What other monetary, fiscal or structural changes could head off problems? And what might happen if we don’t change our policy approach?

Key takeaways

  • New debates about the Phillips curve and modern monetary theory show disagreement among politicians and economists about how central banks should operate
  • While additional monetary-loosening measures (including Fed rate cuts) could extend the current cycle, they might also create risks for financial-market stability
  • There are compelling arguments for central banks to begin raising rates over time, rather than cutting them
  • Structural reforms (such as investing in education or implementing targeted deregulation) may be better than monetary and fiscal policy at lifting economic growth over the long term