Report: Significant shift in consumer usage patterns with advent of 4G

Orange has announced the results of Orange Exposure 2013/2014 – an annual independent study by TNS into media habits across UK, France and Spain. This year’s study takes an early look at the impact of 4G networks on consumer behaviour, exploring how this has already significantly shifted usage patterns.

The report also explores the role of mobile alongside other devices and touch-points in consumers’ shopping habits. In addition, it reveals how apps are increasingly becoming the de facto route to the internet, over the browser. Finally, Orange Exposure finds that Android’s dominance is now evident in the tablet market.

Among this year’s findings is early evidence that consumer behaviour is evolving as a direct result of 4G’s introduction – fuelled by faster download times and greater bandwidth. Not only are 4G users consuming more content – 30% of them in the UK regularly use their mobile to download videogames, compared with 17% of their 3G counterparts—they are also using more of the phone’s functionality (downloading video, and using geolocation for example) – in the case of France this is 25% more than non-4G users.

Additionally, 4G users demonstrate a growing propensity for m-commerce – with 53% using their mobile to pay for something in the last six months compared with 34% of 3G mobile multimedia users.

This year’s research also establishes the mobile device as central to how consumers shop, for consumers looking to research products, compare prices, and ultimately purchase items. The report finds that for the high-tech segment, 25% of mobile multimedia users consulted their mobile during the research phase. The research also reveals that mobile usage drives further research on other devices. For example, 18% in the UK confirmed that they used their mobile initially to check for information before conducting deeper research on another device.

The research also established the continued dominance of Android over iOS in the marketplace for the second year running, with almost half of all mobile devices Android, in all three markets. The market share also increased in the tablet market, in part lead by Samsung’s burgeoning success with its Android-based tablets. For example, only 6% of tablets in the UK were Samsung in 2012. In 2013, this leapt to 19%. In France, 13% of tablets were already Samsung in 2012. Today, Samsung alone command almost a third of the tablet market in France.

Also, of significance, was the finding that people are increasingly using apps to access the internet, rather than the traditional browser route. The gap between the two access methods stands at only 1% now in France, with the browser only slightly ahead. This demonstrates the impact of better designed apps for mobile and we can expect that apps will be the predominant access point in the future. This finding will be significant for advertisers and retailers alike.

Jean-Marie Culpin, Head of Marketing and Customer Intimacy, Orange, said, “This year’s findings provide early evidence that faster speeds and greatly improved bandwidth have indeed shaken up how people are using their mobile – making it more central to their lives than ever before. As 4G becomes increasingly available to everyone, it is exciting to witness how it’s helping people go about their daily lives, as their trusted companion.”

DTG Staff  |  02.12.2013

Previous story  |  Next story