Future Thinking

1 in 5 Brits say “I don’t want a smartphone – I just want a phone that makes calls” – new research

New research from Future Thinking has found that the consumer response to the recent iPhone launch remains underwhelming amid a growing backlash against smartphone evolution.

• 20% of British consumers said: “I don’t want a smartphone - I just want a phone that makes calls.”

• Only 5% said they planned to upgrade to an iPhone soon after launch; 65% said they were happy with their existing phone.

• And 8% expressed the view: “It’s all a con anyway - it’s nearly the same as the most recent model in what it does.”

Despite the overwhelming amount of media content generated around Apple’s big event on Tuesday, the wider picture suggests that it is failing to engage a growing group of people.

The findings come from Future Thinking’s recent poll, conducted at the end of August, which surveyed more than 4,300 respondents. It follows a recent survey from US-based analyst Piper Jaffrey which showed that only 16% of existing iPhone users in the US expect to upgrade to one of the new iPhones. This is only 1% up from last year’s survey.

John Whittaker, head of marketing at Future Thinking commented:

“Consumer hype remains underwhelming, especially given what a huge moment this is supposed to be for Apple. Apple and its peers are targeting a premium market that is gradually shrinking, while a growing smartphone evolution backlash is starting to emerge.

“Our research shows that 20% of people now do not want a smartphone at all – instead they just want a phone that makes calls, driven primarily by those over 45 years of age. Many have ditched their smartphones in exchange for a simpler, more liberating life without being glued to a screen and being bombarded with notifications. The rebooted version of the classic Nokia 3310 launched earlier this year is one response to this trend.

“Cutting through all the hype around new iPhone launches and other increasingly expensive and complicated Smartphones, the industry needs to be aware of the growing group of people who are looking for something different to yet another iPhone.”

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