December 18, 2012

Consumer Trends for 2013


It’s hard to believe that 2012 is rapidly coming to an end, and soon we will welcome a whole new year of resolutions, news and records. We’ll also see a fresh set of trends, some building off trends from 2012 and some entirely innovative.

Ericsson, a provider of communications technology and services, recently identified 10 hot consumer trends for 2013 and beyond.

Analysts are predicting 2013 as the year for the cloud to shift into the next gear. More than 50 percent of tablet users and well above 40 percent of smartphone users in the U.S., Japan, Australia and Sweden appreciate the improved simplicity of having the same apps and data seamlessly available through the cloud on multiple devices. 2013 will emphasize consumers’ reliance on the cloud, so devices will have to shift to embrace this interoperability and integration.

Think about how you deal with technology on a daily basis. You skim over articles from different sources, check your smartphone’s notifications, change back to the Web to read your e-mail and then go click-crazy in that same mode throughout the day. It’s no surprise that one of the biggest 2013 consumer trends is computing for a scattered mind.

“Tasks are handled at the spur of the moment - as we stand in a shopping line or talk to someone at a café,” Ericsson reports. “Purchase intent is higher for tablets compared to desktop PCs, and for smartphones compared to laptops.”

Going along with this, the Internet is predicted to become truly mobile in the next year. Smartphone subscribers will reach 3.3 billion by 2018 and mobile network coverage is one of the most important drivers of satisfaction for city life. City center dwellers have significantly more friends online than people in suburban areas; 12 percent of them say the main reason for using social networks is to connect and exchange with others, making it the third most common reason for social networking, following staying up-to-date with friends and family and keeping friends and family updated. More than 91 percent of data traffic on iPads is on a Wi-Fi network, so the accessibility of that network is vital to consumers’ device performance.

BYOD became more prominent in 2012, as smartphones led to dual-use in personal and work life. A total of 57 percent of smartphone users use their personal smartphone subscriptions at work. Personal smartphones are increasingly being used for work, to send e-mails, plan business trips, find locations and more, and the trend is set to continue in 2013.

When it comes to gender, women drive mass-market smartphone adoption. No less than 97 percent of female smartphone owners use SMS, a total of 77 percent send and receive photos, 59 percent use social networking, 24 percent check in at locations and 17 percent redeem coupons. Officials at Inneractive, an app monetization exchange, highlighted the differences on how men and women use their smartphones. The top three app categories for women are entertainment, social and IM and brain and puzzles. For men, the top three app categories are sports, arcade and action and cards and casino. When it comes to platforms, most have a dominant male user base, including Apple, Android and Symbian. Women mostly use RIM, with 59 percent of female users compared to 41 percent male.

Other hot consumer trends for the upcoming year include social TV, learning in transformation and in-line shopping. 

Image via Ericsson

While it may be a little gloomy to see another year pass us, it’s exciting to await and see what 2013 has in store. From mobility, cloud, social behaviors and other consumer trends, it’s sure to be a year that will leave a big impact on consumers, communications and technology.




Edited by Brooke Neuman



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