Smartphone demand continues to fall; consumers less interested in “glitzy gadgets”

by XB on 5th January 2016

in News

downward-trendA maturing smartphone market is nothing new , after all the market couldn’t continue its blistering pace of growth that we saw 3-5 years ago. The number of options for cheaper alternatives in the smartphone space has often been cited as a concern for those manufacturers trying to push flagship models.

Demand for smartphones and tablets continue to be sluggish according to a new Accenture survey. Accenture polled 28,000 consumers across 28 countries asking what consumer technology they planned to purchase in 2016. Overall, 48% said that they planned to purchase a new smartphone, although this number is six percentage points down on last year. Those looking to buy a tablet this year has fallen from 38% to 29%.

Weak Smartphone Demand

The survey results also suggest that people aren’t warming to IoT (Internet of Things) products including smartwatches either. Only 13% plan to buy a smartwatch in the next year, up by just one percentage point over last year. Factors that are said to have stifled demand of wearables include concerns over battery-life, ease-of-use, and design expectations.

The slowdown in the consumer technology market is irrefutable, serious and global. The market is not about the glitzy gadgets anymore – rather, it’s about providing secure, innovative and practical digital services and more open collaboration. As device demand tapers off, the industry needs to make a sharp turn toward providing innovative, value-added services that consumers are able to use with confidence”, said Sami Luukkonen, global managing director for Accenture’s Electronics and High Tech group.

Where do you stand in this view – do you plan to buy a new smartphone in 2016 or is your current phone good enough? If you do plan to buy a new phone, are you considering a flagship model or a smartphone that offers better value for money overall? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Via Accenture.

  • FirdausAraragi

    I am planning an upgrade this year to the Xperia Z5 or Z5 compact from my old Z1 when my contract ends. The Xperia Z1 is still a good device but the improvements to the Z5 is something that I look forward to.

  • subm

    An even tougher year for Sony

  • Sandro

    I’ll probably continue with my Z3 Compact. It is good enough to continue for one more year.

  • Jaissal S

    I also had the Z1 and really liked the Z5! Was a good time to upgrade to the Z5. If you are thinking about selling the Z1, i couldn’t get much for mine…less than £100 even with a few accessories.

  • Jaissal S

    As I bought a Z5 in November, I won’t be buying a new phone for a long while now. I can’t justify the need for a tablet for myself. Although if I could win one in a competition that Sony hold…I’ll obviously take it. I will probably buy what Nintendo have to offer…new games, mobile games, etc. I could do with a new laptop though as my current one is roughly 8 years old now. I think people with Z1, Z2, and maybe Z3 would maybe be thinking about upgrading this year…

  • mrninko

    stick with my z3 compact until new falgship z6 compact will be released then gonna buy it ;)

  • hansip

    since Android devices came with 2GB of RAM, it seems to be good enough for common usage. So sad to say this but even though i like to upgrade to Z5 or even Z6, the Z Ultra of mine is still in class of its own and still perfectly capable of doing everything i need. (well except the camera i suppose, which is the driving urge for the upgrade to Z5 families)

  • I’m still rocking my Xperia Z1 with no plans of upgrading anytime soon.

    Battery life after two years is still decent, performance is definitely good enough, camera’s aren’t that much better yet, and newer devices just don’t offer many new features anymore. This is personal opinion of course, but I’m really happy that the money I spent on my Z1 two years ago was well worth it (:

  • Zzzzzyf

    I am in exactly the same situation

  • This results are not shocking at all I think. For example, in my country people buy smartphone with the intention to keep them for at least five years. That of course doesn’t mean that in the stores we don’t have curious people and people wishing new smartphones. But the high prices crush the customers dreams.
    And something seeing people here saying that they have all the Z line is crazy for me and millions of people because we buy a phone and keep them until almost die.
    Of course I’d love to have an Z5 but right now I’m very happy with my Z2 but I always have an eye on promotions or discounts.

    A lot of people buy phones in second hand this days so these numbers don’t show that really.
    In terms of tablets I bought the Surface Pro 3 four months ago and since is a tablet and a laptop, for as much I love Z4 Tablet, I’m not planning to buy anything for the coming five years at least.

  • I’m not planning of buying any new smartphone, UNTIL, AND ONLY UNTIL, an OEM gets us a 5,000+ mAh battery. Say, Xperia z7 with 7,000 mAh, battery, what a joy the world will become!

    OEMs are fools. My z2 will still be able to play FIFA 2020. But the question is, How many hours will I be able to play it?

    Battery, battery, battery!!!

  • Not me. Unless there’s a z7 coming with a 7000+ mAh. I’m not dreaming. OEMs can make such huge battery in a small phone, they’re just fooling themselves thinking its not yet. They want their market to fully collapse before unleashing that magic battery

  • WilliamTell13

    I’m hoping to upgrade to the Z6 this year. My Z1s could use an upgrade. It also doesn’t help that it appears Sony/T-Mobile have abandoned the phone on 5.0.2. I’ll never buy a locked phone again, that’s for sure.

  • Thariq Mohammed

    I’m happy with my Z2 in every aspect except the camera software, but no idea to upgrade.
    But have an eye on M5 for a exchange with Z2.
    (unstable software of M5 keep me away from that)

  • Emil Oskarsson

    Wait for the new z models that will be released in april-june :D Will upgrade from my old Xperia Z then :D

  • Alvin

    I wonder what will be the next after these smartphone hype… Because i can’t imagine what and how will that thing look like as smartphones are already almost everyone’s primary stuff

  • Alvin

    Yeah 7000 mAh, agree! And make the phone 3 centimetres thick.. /s/

  • laci_csk

    dream on

  • Bashar Shehab

    I think me too!

  • Vuyo Ncube

    Tough year for everyone. Apple shares have dropped , Samsung sales have plummeted, HTC fell out of the Taiwanese Stock Exchange, LG mobile division was no more profiting, ARM based tablets are being pulverised by Surface Pros and cheap Windows tablets into extinction.

    And the Chinese are laughing their way to the bank without having to sell a single damn thing outside the country.

  • Vuyo Ncube

    2016 was the year to upgrade for me and this happens ;_; OEMs have stagnated in quality in one way or another and my 2 year old Z1 still puts up a fight against most recent phones.

  • Alvin

    yup, software even though we get the updates a lot faster with better support now, but the software itself (almost all over sony devices with lollipop or newer) are disappointingly annoying and unstable.. i cry everytime…

  • Niels d. G.

    Compacts are only every other generation:
    Z compact: no
    Z1 compact: yes
    Z2 compact: no
    Z3 compact: yes
    Z3+/Z4 compact: no
    Z5 compact: yes
    Z6 compact: probably not
    Z7 compact: probably yes

  • Niels d. G.
  • ryq24

    Most mid range phones can do what a high end phone can do at a cheaper price. They may not be as fast but most people will not notice it anyway.

  • PDP16 Reloaded

    Bought a refurbished Z1 Compact for USD160 last year. Planning on keeping it for a couple of years. Even my old Xperia C2006 is a keeper as a backup.
    Paying ~USD500 for an Xperia Z5 Compact doesn’t make sense at this time when the Z1C has the basics covered anyway.

  • Svnjay

    Wait for the Xperia Z6.

  • This, seriously.
    Although I’m personally at a disadvantage with the Xperia Z1 being so darn cheap second hand, if you’re looking for a decent cheap phone then why not? Honestly, with your Z1C you don’t just have the ‘basics’ covered: compared to the latest flagships from even other manufacturers, what are you really missing? Maybe stereo speakers or a better display, but apart from that I can’t come up with anything that it’s lacking.

  • I have my Z3 since last year and I’m happy with it. I have no plans to change it, because it does everything I need to. Of course I would love the camera to have better performance in low light conditions and let me adjust exposition time, but aside the camera stuff, I love it.

  • Battal

    “consumers less interested in “glitzy gadgets” “!
    That’s because They’re not “glitzy” .

  • theskig

    I’m doing my best to convince myself I need a swap from Z3 to a Z5 Premium but It’s very hard. Z3 is simply a fantastic phone :)

  • theskig

    The problem is not the battery, you need a Playstation not a phone :)

  • El Capitan Morgan

    I know and people will complain because it became bulky and heavier. LOL

  • El Capitan Morgan

    I have a Z2 and still rocking solid. Keep it and buy a gaming console so you can play your FIFA 2020. You don’t have to worry about battery life after..

    or get a 10000 mAh battery pack.

  • Indeed. Anyway, my budget is convincing enough to not make a switch yet, hehehe. No doubt premium is a gorgeous phone.

  • Alvin

    yeah, it will not fit your pocket because it is like 1990’s phone

  • I’m planning to buy a smartphone this year but only if it’s a Nexus (stock Android) phone that’s not bigger than 5.1″ display. We’ll see. I might buy the next iPhone if it turns out to be waterproof and have a cool & sleek design.

  • Benjamin Levy

    I’m happy with my Z3C, so I’m in no hurry to buy a new phone.

  • Timel

    But ever tougher for small players like HTC, LG and especially Sony and trust me, an Apple iPhone 7 will be able to sell very freaking well this year! Samsung S7 and Note 6 well be able to sell quite good as well

    In the end, the premium high end market will have only two players and they are Apple and Samsung and Chinese phones will take over mid-range / high end mid range market, there’s no space for small player like Sony anymore, Sony failed to make the best products for most people and it’s too late this time, there’s only one way Sony must do something new and cool, focus on wearable/rollable smartphone phone / wearable gadgets like Kyocera Proteus, it can be the game changer for Sony and the whole smartphone industry for sure, what Sony is waiting for? Sony’ve always said that wearable is Sony dna, right? Then do it cool and show the world

    For me now I’m just waiting for the comeback of king Nokia this year, hope Nokia will play something cool with smartphone industry

  • PDP16 Reloaded

    I’ve embraced the magnetic charging on the Z1C with a few docks… and a few other phones with docks… so can’t buy more phones as I can’t afford the docks… :-) …and new Xperia don’t have magnetic charging.
    Photo taken on Lumia 520 (Win10)

  • Billy de Fretes

    still love my cracked screen xperia z since the first launch. and maybe in 2017 i will change my phone since there’s no “glamours”, “wow” factor, and technology where’s others don’t have.

  • Billy de Fretes

    wow, even my xperia z can survive almost 3 years, i belive z3 compact will last longer than my xperia z :D

  • TharakaKS

    Agreed.. I’m also happy with my Xperia Z3. Z3 still performs well. Love the design..

  • Vuyo Ncube

    Dude, this article pretty much confirmed that IoT products including SmartWatchs are still not catching on. Everyone at CES and other recent conventions is unveiling niche products, proofs of concept, software and 4K HDR TVs. The Kyocera Proteus is actually incomplete with no working keyboard nor battery.

  • fried_egg

    IoT is just silly… who wants a fridge that orders a chinese takeaway.. Sony saw a lot of the issues coming… that is why the xperia flagships have not been swiss army knives of rubbish like the Galaxy S ones.. they have been trying to make good lucking high end phones with what people need… the trick is when that is how the mass market finally thinks being able to be there for them

  • fried_egg

    I had my Z1 on “announcement pre-order” which meant my contract ran out as the Z5 was beig announced and again pre-ordered hours after it was first seen on the day…
    the z1 had such a small resale value i made it my bath tv! The Z5 is great, it’s not amazing but then I am judging it from owning a Z1 for so long… its just a better z1.. which is all it could ever be as the z1 was so good.

  • Lindarlopez3

    ?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

    A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
    ??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    just explaining here won’t change anything. please go tell kaz hirai about this

  • j_ee

    My Z1 still going strong and I have no intention to upgrade it for a cpl of gimmicks. When it finally dies, my next phone won’t be an android anyway. perhaps if ubuntu phone is able to launch a decent converging device by then…

  • ZoubIWah

    Same with my z3c. I’d like a better camera but only the lg g4 seems really better and only in that area…
    Switching to a z5 would give me nothing and take away the magnetic charger.. Heck even a 2x faster phone I wouldn’t care for. It’s just not needed

  • ????? ????

    Sony needs to push phones with selected demands not always high end. Cyber shot phones Walkman phone Internet rich phone gaming phone and business phones categories

  • Major Sceptic

    It’s not rocket science, smart phones, even cheaper basic ones have improved in their performance and capability in the last couple of years,
    for example my galaxy note 4 still performs very well, and I see no need to update to the latest and greatest smart phones , and I suspect a lot of the smart phone buyers in the past year or two think the same way.

  • Christian Chiasson

    This article assumes most consumers were shelling out dollars for high end flagship devices when the the average consumer couldn’t afford the price tag without anti consumer contracts and/or agreements. I was myself always a budget buyer and I used to look at the nexus line of devices. They offered near flagship specs and the latest Android software for a budget price. Looking at the latest nexus phones since Motorola’s Nexus 6, and the prices are too high, especially in Canada with our crashing dollar. My LG manufactured Nexus 5 was $350 outright at launch without a contract. The Nexus 5X is $650. The Nexus 6 was $900 and the Nexus 6P is $850. I know they are making these devices with the latest and greatest consumer tech but the Nexus line was never about flagship tech at flagship prices. It was about near-flagship specs at budget prices because they were never meant to be consumer devices at all. They were always developer devices. An easy to mod smartphone for anyone who needed to test the latest build of their app for bugs and stability. A great phone for custom rom makers like Cyanogen Team to test their latest AOSP based rom builds. This new direction is turning people off rather quickly. I won’t be able to afford a new Nexus until I see them on kijiji used for $250 or under so I’m left with a choice of mid range phones like the LG G3 or the Mototola Moto X Play.

  • Paulacstice3

    ?my neighbor’s mate mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

    A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
    ??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

  • charbel aoun

    Sony might release only 2 flagships this year. Z6 and Z6 Premium. By this method sales will grow up. no one would change Z3+ for a Z5 for example.

  • Iucidium

    consumers less interested in “glitzy gadgets”

  • Tarapcarter1

    ?my neighbor’s mate is getting 98$. HOURLY on the internet?….

    A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
    ??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

  • Hahaha. Yeah Play Station would do, but I can’t take 4K video with the Play Station console on top of Table Mountain. Neither can I carry my console on board a flight just to watch latest movie or series during flight.

    My need for battery ain’t for playing games. I just want to live the Nokia 3310 days, where it was more of, ‘charge once, run 3 weeks’, than today which is, ‘charge thrice, run 24 hours’

  • I am! Hopefully, sony might wake me up and present me with something similar in real life this year.

  • 3 Centimeters thick? sheesh, not that thick,
    but there MUST be a way to get 7,000 mAh from same battery size as the Z3 or Z2 or any flagship battery out there. It shouldn’t be hard.

  • theskig

    and you use a Z2, one of the best phones in battery life! (owned one:) )

  • laci_csk


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