• Strategy Analytics: Foldable Phones: Strong Consumer Desire, When Costs Come Down

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Strategy Analytics: Foldable Phones: Strong Consumer Desire, When Costs Come Down

Consumer Concerns with Durability, Size, & Enhanced Use Cases Are Barriers to Adoption, Finds Strategy Analytics

Category:

November 18, 2019

Dateline:

BOSTON

Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But their acceptance by mainstream segments will depend on how barriers to adoption are addressed.

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed. Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author commented, “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.”

Continued Dodge, “But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Added Paul Brown, Director, UXIP, “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. www.StrategyAnalytics.com.

About User Experience Strategies (UXS)

Analyzing UX innovation opportunities in wireless, smart home, and other emerging technologies, UXS forms part of the User Experience Innovation Practice (UXIP) at Strategy Analytics. Focusing on user behaviors, motivations and interests across multiple consumer verticals, UXIP helps clients meet consumer needs, develop usable solutions and deliver compelling user experiences through both syndicated and proprietary research capabilities. With our extensive expertise in large-scale survey work, in-depth interviews, focus groups and observational sessions, UXIP’s research methodologies allow strategic user-centric analysis on the potential for new technologies. Providing actionable insight, go-to-market strategies and business recommendations, UXIP is a leading supplier of consumer knowledge to the technology industry. Click here for more information.

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Foldable Smart Phones (Photo: Business Wire)
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Contact:

US Contact: Paul Brown, +1 617 614 0723, pbrown@strategyanalytics.com
European Contact: Diane O'Neill, +44(0) 1908 423 669, doneill@strategyanalytics.com