Consumers Want ‘Complete Digital Lifestyle’

Everyone does not yet own everything, but that doesn’t mean they’re not trying to.

Consumers are creating highly personalized constellations of products and services on their way toward “a complete digital lifestyle,” according to the latest Digital Consumer Tech Survey by Accenture.

Polled on their usage and buying intentions for various consumer electronics devices, participants said they want the newest and most innovative gadgets even if they already own a staple of consumer electronics. Consumers not only plan to fill gaps and replace current products, but to a large extent they will simply add more of the same.

How many devices does one person want? About a half of survey respondents say they prefer using multiple devices for different purposes. But almost a third (29%) report wanting just one device for all the functionality they need. This consumer segment consists mainly of late adopters in technology adoption.

Another segment that prefers a single personal device is within the 14- to 17-year-old group, about a third of whom like to access email, the Internet, TV, music, phone calls and more on one piece of personal technology. In other words, not everyone is excited by the thought of multiple devices.

Among the findings in the survey:

  • Smartphones rank as the second-most owned pieces of digital consumer technology among 14 categories.
  • Nearly three-fourths of respondents own a laptop computer, 69% own a smartphone, 57% an HDTV, 37% a tablet and 37% a home gaming system.
  • Owning a smartphone does not preclude consumers from owning other connected devices. More than a quarter of those surveyed own the combined set of a smartphone, laptop and tablet.
  • Looking forward a year, multi-function devices are likely to dominate purchase plans as smartphones, HDTVs and tablets top the list of devices that consumers plan to buy.

Most respondents plan to purchase new devices in the next 12 months despite already owning an earlier version of the device. Among the 52% of consumers planning to purchase a smartphone in the next 12 months, only 4% don’t currently own one. About a third (29%) plan to purchase a replacement for their current smartphone and 19% plan to buy one in addition to the one they currently own.

Almost half of consumers in the U.S. (45%) intend to buy a smartphone soon, compared with 35% last year. When the survey was last conducted, 18% of respondents planned to purchase a tablet. This year, a third plan on buying one.

Accenture’s Digital Consumer Tech Survey polled 6,000 consumers in six countries. The survey covers attitudes about technology ranging from computers and tablets to televisions and gaming systems.