Report: Brand and price more important than carrier to smartphone buyers
One of the more troubling observations found by the survey is that only 66% of shoppers in 2012 have considered two or more smartphone models before going for it. We say 'only', because that number has been 75% in 2011. What this means is that competition in the US isn't in tip-top shape, as the juggernauts Apple and Samsung are grabbing more and more of the market for themselves, leaving only miniature fractions for all the other brands. Will 2013 bring a change to the status quo? Will HTC, Motorola, LG, Nokia and the others find a way to win some customers back? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
1. msa1988 (Posts: 417; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
Completely disagree with this article. Verizon is the most reliable carrier in my area (MD). Everyone I know with Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile fight for service in areas where I have 4 - 5 bars. I will only stay on Verizon knowing no matter where I go, I'll be covered. Until the other carriers step their game up, this will stand.
2. Captain_Doug (Posts: 932; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
You're not taking into account that there are other places where T-mobile/sprint/at&t have great coverage. Where I am, any of them work great. What then? Phone options and pricing. Phone options isn't Verizon's strong suit and their pricing is higher than any other carrier. Verizon may work great for you and it's worked great for me, but this article is spot on for the majority even though you may not be the majority.
12. msa1988 (Posts: 417; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
I understand this isn't the same case for everyone but notice in my previous post I was stating my opinion, not speaking for the rest of the country. In my region Verizon is the only service provider I can rely on. It that the case in every city? Of course not, but it is for me. My statement stands. I want dependability!
35. Gdrye (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)
u stated you will stay on verizon no matter where you go, well dont go to wisconsin, even in the bigger city milwaukee with verizon, you will not get any coverage, better stick with sprint and at&t there, i think that was a point doug was mentioning
7. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
I also have Verizon and for me the carrier is very important and I will never switch even if I am payong a lot more...
BUUUT, you gotta understand, not everybody thinks like us. There are ppl out there that just want to save money and dont care how bad the service is.
Its like a person that will go to McDonalds to eat that garbage they call "food" from the dollar menu just to fill their stomach. Its bad for you but they dont care cuz its cheap and makes their stomack stop growling. However, a smarter person would prefer eating food with more nutricional value that will do good to their body in the long run (and here price is not a determining factor)
8. Captain_Doug (Posts: 932; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
You don't get it. Verizon doesn't have a monopoly on good coverage. Other carriers may not have the consistent coverage across the nation like Verizon but if they don't travel and they're in a city with great coverage, then it's not "McDonalds" coverage, it's smart shopping. If they can provide the same service or better for cheaper, then it's stupid to go with the more expensive choice. Paying more money for peace of mind is a fools game.
22. donfem (Posts: 574; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I guess you consider yourself among "the privileged few". The statement you uttered showed exactly how ridiculous you must be in real life. To break it down, "just want to save money and dont care how bad the service is". That is a very stupid statement, for lack of any better choice of word. Then "they go to Mcdonalds to eat garbage they call food", that to me is, a further reflection of an uneducated person making an uninformed judgement. I guess you have neer heard of choice and personal likes and dislikes. Nor have you heard the phrase "one man's meat is another man's poison". If you don't like other cell phone carriers, then fine,your choice. Same with eating at Mc. I guess we all should eat the same food, drive same car, think alike, date or marry same women... just to agree with you?
25. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
Your wrong, its area dependant. Love where I live because Tmobile and ATT share a lot of towers so they have better coverage than verizon and I can pay $70 a month for unlimited everything.
9. ibap (Posts: 726; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
When our daughter was in high school, the deciding factor was that Verizon (who we had previously) was totally zero in the school, as was AT&T. I waited for VZW to pull in the Alltel areas after they bought them, but they did not. Since she was active in a number of programs that had rehearsals in the evening, this was a major issue. Our options were Sprint, Alltel, and T-Mobile, but neither Alltel or T-Mobile were reliable in other areas where we needed them. We all switched to Sprint, and I would turn off my ringer going into the school theater and people would tell me I didn't need to. HAH! I was even able to text her when she was in the orchestra pit to tell her of a tornado warning during a rehearsal.
I loved telling off one dad that was mouthing off about the school blocking cell signals because his VZW phone had no reception.
Bottom line? Figure out where you need coverage and choose accordingly. And no, VZW does NOT have coverage "everywhere".
10. alouden (Posts: 318; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
All you have to do is look at the iPhone. Whether you like the iPhone or hate it, people would NOT consider carriers (tMobile, and Verizon until recently) because they did not carry the iPhone. I think the main point is that in most major metro areas, the major carriers all have generally pretty good coverage.
To address the second part of your response, no carrier has the best coverage everywhere, not even Verizon (which I happen to have).
23. donfem (Posts: 574; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
One of the most informed statements ever. Nice job.
30. jroc74 (Posts: 5379; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
This is true. The entire post. That said...Sprint and T Mo suck in my area.
I think in my area...AT&T might be a lil better than Verizon. I havent tested it out to find out yet. I have Verizon.
11. naptown2 (Posts: 70; Member since: 29 Dec 2012)
I have both sprint and verison and i get service with both companysalmost every where i go . No cell phone provider has perfect coverage but i also look at price per month and what kind of discount i get per month. Hands down verizon has grest coverage but so do all the other carriers pending on where we live and really thats what everyone say well were i live i geyt better service from blah blah blab
32. true1984 (Posts: 686; Member since: 23 May 2012)
Really? I'm in MD and Sprint gets excellent service out here plus the LTE is faster than my home internet
3. lovenyc8 (Posts: 164; Member since: 13 Mar 2013)
price and what kind of phone you looking for is always the selling point.
4. VLaRueC (Posts: 155; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
Pantech is the brand to watch. Nokia will surprise with the 928 which will carry through the rest of the year. To answer the article's question, I believe Samsung will continue breaking people free from Apple.
6. Captain_Doug (Posts: 932; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Pantech really has been getting progressively better. The Flex looked great and the Discover is a real contender(as long as it gets an update). It'll be interesting to see how they follow it up.
27. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
The brand to watch is actually Lenovo, seems odd right? Odds are they will have the first phone with an intel quad core phone chip, Intel is ready to kick arm to the ground later this year and take over the phone market.
Just FYI a dual core intel is as fast as a quad core arm a15.
34. Captain_Doug (Posts: 932; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
A think branded Lenovo phone sounds awesome.
5. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
I dont give an eff about carriers; if that carrier isnt offering the phone i want, i'd buy it unlocked for maybe $600+ (I dont mind), then sign up an iPhone plan on the carrier i prefer, then use the sim on my unlocked phone and sell the iPhone. You need to prepare a lot of money to do something like this of course (so you can say the price isnt a factor to me as well). I make a few considerations and compare a few models before buying, but If i want that specific phone model, nothing stops me, not the unlocked price or carrier.
Why iPhone (even though i dislike it)? Because it's darn easy to sell it. Price it only 5% lower than market price of an unlocked unit and iDiots will jump on that offer. In my country, phones obtained from carriers when you sign up a plan are not locked.
13. Taters (Posts: 4633; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
There goes one of the excuses for HTC and Nokia fans as to why their phones aren't selling.
16. freebee269 (Posts: 531; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
5.6 million people bought nokia's in Q1 2013. it's not as much as iphone or samsung, but to say they arent selling is false.
28. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
How many of those 5.6m have been returned?
18. ZeroCide (Posts: 721; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)
BIG DUHHHHH!!!! I stick with my carrier because of price although i wish they would get phones i want.
19. StreetNerd (Posts: 749; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
duhhhhh... i was allways on Vodaphone, untill they introduce the RED plans (friggin expensive).
recently i switchd to Tmo, now i pay 25eur/month (vs 50-60 on voda) for the lumia 920 hell yea!
20. TechnoTechyes (Posts: 63; Member since: 24 Jan 2011)
I think Android users would be 100% on the (2 or more) phones, Apple users near 0%.
21. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1013; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
Carrier is important BUT choosing the right phone is #1 on everyones list! I agree with the article because people look at the phone first and then carrier. After the S3 was introduced, carriers dont have as many phones that are exclusive to themselves. that business tactic ended with the AT&T-Apple divorce a few years ago. Those that are first time smartphone buyers looks for a phone and then what carrier to pay to use it. I did that when I was a first time smartphone buyer. Now 5 smartphones and 2 carriers later, Im happy with my current AT&T service and the Blue S3
Carriers dont get customers just on service alone, they win because of phones like the Note II and S3.......as well as upcoming phones like the S4 and the HTC One
24. johnriii (Posts: 236; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
all you have to do is poll truck drivers as to which service they prefer. I've been in the trucking/logistics industry since 1996, and talk to OTR drivers all day, everyday. Most have tried other carriers, and eventually, they realize Verizon is the best. not perfect, just the best. I travel pretty extensively, and I've never had an issue with not being able to make or hold a call. if t-mobile and sprint or even boost works for you, then great. but I work two jobs, and when I need to make a call, verizon delivers. Yes, I wish it were less expensive, but you get what you pay for.
31. scsa852k (Posts: 328; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
People need to do their research.
Which carrier provides good coverage and good internet speeds in my area,
then compare the plan prices, and then the phone price.
Just because a certain carrier or a store does a $99.99 sale,
people sign up like cavemen and they have no idea which plan they signed up for.
33. F14Tomcat (Posts: 4; Member since: 17 Apr 2013)
Plan price is the deciding factor for me. My company offers discount rate plans from AT&T and Verizon. The Verizon plan is $25 *less* a month than the comparable AT&T plan, and includes 2GB more data per month. I am, however, disappointed in Verizon's phone selection. The Pantech Perception, Verizon's version of the Discover, was supposed to be available by the end of March. It is still not available. Verizon *may* carry the HTC One in some form, but it will launch months after AT&T gets it. GS4 availability again will be at least a month after AT&T. And I have not read where Verizon will carry other flagship phones like the Sony Xperia Z or ZL, or the LG Optimus G Pro, whereas AT&T reportedly will. The Droid DNA can be found online for $40 now with a full-priced two year plan, but I am restricted to buying the phone from the discount web site specifically for my company, and Verizon still wants $200 for the DNA (even though I can the GS3 for $100, and maybe even $50 if a coupon code is accepted). So I'm still waiting before I jump.