Global mobile consumer trends


Global mobile consumer trends: Second edition

Mobile continues its global reach into all aspects of consumers’ lives

Roughly four decades after the introduction of the first mobile phone, almost every developed country surveyed has at least 90 percent mobile phone penetration. Mobile has become increasingly pervasive and indispensable, with consumers the world over enthusiastically embracing its potential. Our second edition of the global mobile consumer trends report highlights consumer attitudes towards mobile technology from across a range of developed and developing countries.

Six key trends driving mobile use and consumer activity in emerging and mature economies:

  • 4G: fueling the smartphone—Networks such as 4G/LTE have begun to catch up with Wi-Fi as the preferred means of connecting to the Internet from mobile devices. 4G is also enabling wearables, such as a fit band or a smart watch, which are gaining popularity with consumers.
  • Smartphone addiction—More than one-third of consumers worldwide said they check their phone within five minutes of waking up in the morning, and 20 percent of them check their phone more than 50 times a day. The reliance on smartphones seems likely to increase as more features become available.
  • From function to function—For most consumers smartphones are still not a preferred choice for making payments, with only one-third of them making payments using their mobile. The trend is similar for entertainment as well, wherein small screen has not yet become the channel of choice for viewing content for most consumers, with the global average hovering around 15 percent. 
  • IoT’s incipient opportunity—Using IoT devices to keep healthy seems to be a market segment in an up-and-coming mode. Owning or accessing wearables to track vital signs averages 3 percent in most countries and slightly higher, at 7 percent, in the developing countries. Smart cars rate about the same with around 5 percent of consumers owning or having access to a connected vehicle.
  • Safe and secure?—Most consumers aren’t very guarded about privacy: around 70 percent of consumers in developed countries have shared some kind of personal information online. In the survey’s developing countries, it’s more than 80%. However, security remains a concern among consumers, preventing them from adopting various kinds of technologies.
  • Making the most of mobile device sales—Over 25 percent of phones are sold back into the marketplace. With stronger and targeted trade-in programs, manufacturers and carriers can build sustained relationships with those consumers looking to upgrade by selling their current phone.

Explore insights from Deloitte’s first edition trends summary

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