Nearly 1 in 5 of Recent Handset Purchases Have No Landline

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New research released today by the USA’s Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows a shift away from landlines to wireless phones for many American consumers, particularly younger age groups, those who rent their homes and singles. A full 17% of consumers who purchased wireless phones in the last 90 days reported using their wireless phones exclusively. The study also found the majority of consumers are satisfied with their wireless phone buying experience, which may be helping to increase the number of wireless-only households.

The study found high satisfaction levels for in-person as well as online purchases of wireless phones. Respondents gave customer service representatives high marks for product and service knowledge, courtesy and availability.


“The results of this research study disprove the assumption that consumers are dissatisfied with their wireless purchasing experience,” says Steve Koenig, CEA’s senior manager of industry analysis. “In fact, a majority of wireless customers are loyal to the store from which they purchased their phone.”

Study results showed that two-thirds of consumers prefer to shop for wireless phones in-person, although a fair minority-27 percent-look to the Internet as their primary shopping method. Although a majority of consumers spend less than one hour researching wireless phone options, study results show that those who do spend more time are more satisfied with their purchases. Although smaller in number, buyers who visit independent retail shops are particularly enthusiastic about conducting research. As a result, they report higher levels of satisfaction compared to those who buy from carrier stores.

“Wireless handsets account for 11 percent of the $123 billion in total CE industry shipment revenues expected this year,” says Koenig. “With billions of dollars at stake, it is critical for the industry to understand how consumers approach wireless phone purchases. As it becomes increasingly difficult to compete on price in the wireless industry, it is clear that service before and after the sale will be the basis for building customer loyalty in the future.”