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Mobile Phone and Tablet Accessories - US - April 2015

As mobile hardware and connectivity increasingly become central to consumers’ lives, a wide variety of accessories are being purchased to facilitate usage. Looking forward, sales will be driven not only by a desire for necessities such as cases and chargers, but also by products that increase functionality, such as portable external battery packs and keyboards.
Product selection is also expected to shift from a pursuit of the tried and true, toward the accessories that have unique designs and which inspire impulse purchasing.

Mobile phone accessories are often viewed as necessities (eg for charging, protection, audio playback), but advances in smartphones or tablets could make on-board batteries, memory, screens, and casing sufficient without additional purchases. Too, future upgrades of phones and tablets will not necessarily generate new sales: The same headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and external batteries may continue to be used with the consumer’s next generation of phones and tablets. The surest way to sales growth is to make accessories desirable even when they are not definitively necessary. This path forward is most likely to succeed on the basis of new designs that focus on personal expression and fashion. 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Premium brands not qualifying for premium purchases
            • Figure 1: Familiarity with brands and willingness to pay a premium for them, December 2014
          • Fatigue
            • Figure 2: Average spend on mobile accessories, by device, December 2014
          • Intent to purchase limited
            • Figure 3: Intent to purchase (selected) accessories, December 2014
          • Memory cards, mono headsets, and hotspots facing challenges
            • Headphones cannibalize sales of other audio equipment
              • Figure 4: Sales of audio equipment, 2009-14
            • The opportunities
              • Market far from saturated
                • Figure 5: Usage of selected accessories, December 2014
              • Leveraging brand equity
                • Figure 6: Preference for selected accessory brands, December 2014
              • Smartphone and tablet adoption ongoing
                • Focusing on fashion
                  • Figure 7: Interest in stylish accessories, December 2014
                • The young professional
                  • Figure 8: Spend on mobile accessories, by demographics, December 2014
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Rapid growth from 2009-14
                    • Slower growth expected ahead
                      • Surge for headphones
                        • Variety of categories imperiled
                        • Market Size and Forecast

                          • Sales blossom at CAGR of 10.1%
                            • More limited growth seen ahead
                              • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of mobile phone and tablet accessories, at current prices, 2009-19
                              • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of mobile phone and tablet accessories, at current prices, 2009-19
                          • Market Breakdown

                            • Headphones surge
                              • Portable audio in decline
                                  • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of mobile phone and tablet accessories, by segment, at current prices, 2012-14
                              • Market Perspective

                                • Upgrades to carry more limited returns
                                  • New technology reduces need for accessories
                                    • Smartphones jeopardize mobile hotspots
                                      • Memory cards in triple jeopardy
                                        • Integration in cars reduces demand for headsets, connectivity solutions
                                          • Rugged phones
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Mobile phone and tablet sales
                                              • Phone and tablet lifespan
                                                • Mobile entertainment and audio equipment
                                                  • Figure 12: Audio equipment ownership among smartphone and tablet owners, December 2014
                                                • Tablet penetration still gaining steam
                                                  • Phablets: Short-term gains
                                                    • Slow growth for streaming on mobile devices
                                                      • Figure 13: Use of streaming music, streaming video, and gaming on mobile devices, July 2013 and June 2014
                                                    • Mantle of innovation to fall on accessories
                                                      • Figure 14: Decreased spending on mobile accessories, December 2014
                                                    • Gifting
                                                      • Figure 15: Gift purchasing (for children or adults), December 2014
                                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Awareness leads to preference
                                                      • Phone and tablet manufacturer brands preferred
                                                        • Premiums a difficult sell
                                                        • What’s Working?

                                                          • Awareness drives favorable preferences
                                                            • Figure 16: Familiarity with and preferences for select accessory brands*, December 2014
                                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                                          • Most buyers unwilling to pay a premium
                                                            • Figure 17: Familiarity with select brands* and willingness to pay a premium, December 2014
                                                          • Preference for phone/tablet manufacturer
                                                            • Figure 18: Preference for phone/tablet accessory manufacturer, December 2014
                                                          • Commoditization as a result of positive experience
                                                            • Figure 19: Perceptions of quality and historical difficulty with accessories, December 2014
                                                          • Quality: An unnecessary perk?
                                                          • What’s Next?

                                                            • Rising tide for keyboards
                                                              • Design
                                                                • Figure 20: Interest in stylish accessories, by Hispanic origin, December 2014
                                                                • Figure 21: Toastmade wood phone case, March 2015
                                                                • Figure 22: Inkcase e-ink phone case, March 2015
                                                                • Figure 23: Wearefriends earbuds and headphones, March 2015
                                                              • Custom-fit and activity-specific headphones
                                                                • Indestructability
                                                                  • Figure 24: Tendency of dropping of mobile devices and accessories, by Hispanic origin, December 2014
                                                                  • Figure 25: Lifeproof phone case, March 2015
                                                                • Photography accessories
                                                                  • Gaming accessories
                                                                    • Crossover devices
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Cases, car chargers, audio top categories
                                                                        • Impulse purchasing as important as planned purchases
                                                                          • 25-34s top spenders
                                                                            • Majority purchase all accessories when phone/tablet is purchased
                                                                            • Ownership and Intent to Purchase

                                                                              • Cases, cards, chargers and buds most commonly used
                                                                                • Figure 26: Usage And intent to purchase, by Hispanic origin, December 2014
                                                                              • Younger adults drive sales
                                                                                • Figure 27: AUDIO EQUIPMENT USED WITH MOBILE DEVICES, BY DEMOGRAPHICS, DECEMBER 2014
                                                                                • Figure 28: INTENT TO PURCHASE HEADSETS/AUDIO EQUIPMENT, BY DEMOGRAPHICS, DECEMBER 2014
                                                                                • Figure 29: Ownership Of Selected Products Crossed By Ownership, December 2014
                                                                            • Spending on Accessories

                                                                              • Smartphone owners spend three times more than feature phone owners
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Mean spend on mobile accessories, by demographics, December 2014
                                                                                • 25-34 year olds, young men top spenders
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Spend on mobile accessories, by demographics, December 2014
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Spend on accessories for most recently purchased feature phone, by age, December 2014
                                                                              • Shopping Behavior

                                                                                • Brick-and-mortar still thriving
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Online shopping and impulse shopping, by Hispanic origin, December 2014
                                                                                • Buyers reading reviews online
                                                                                • Timing of Purchases

                                                                                  • One primary sales opp. per device
                                                                                    • Figure 34: Purchase of accessories at time of initial purchase of phone or tablet, December 2014
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of mobile phone and tablet accessories, at inflation adjusted prices, 2009-19

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                                                                                                Mobile Phone and Tablet Accessories - US - April 2015

                                                                                                £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)