All iWant: Putting iPhone 7 Rumors to the Test

Putting iPhone 7 Rumors to the Test

This summer has seen no shortage of analyst reports of what the soon-to-be-released iPhone 7 will look like and what features it will (and will not) possess. Continuing what has become an annual frenzy of leaks and predictions, rumors are flying about its multiple screen sizes, memory capacity, camera quality, headphone jack and water resistance. Most notably, some speculate that there may not be any dramatic changes at all as Apple waits for 2017 to release a world-changing 10th anniversary iPhone 8.

Market Strategies International decided to put all these rumors to the test to find out which ones really resonate with consumers and which do not. We asked more than 1,100 consumers about their current phones and preferences among the most frequently rumored iPhone 7 features, including:

Screen features
  • Larger screen
  • Smaller screen
  • Curved screen
  • Wraparound screen
  • Better screen quality/resolution
Memory/Storage features
  • More memory (the latest iPhones have 2GB RAM)
  • More storage space (the latest iPhones have a maximum of 128GB)
  • Expandable storage capacity
Internal features
  • Faster processors
  • Electronic SIM chip
  • Longer-lasting battery
  • Wireless charging
External features
  • Thinner
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof
  • Two speakers (the latest iPhones only have one)
  • Different color options
  • Higher quality camera
Other features
  • USB connector (Micro USB or USB Type-C)
  • Available stylus/pen
  • No headphone jack (the latest iPhones have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack)
  • Virtual reality headset

 Who Wants to Buy the iPhone 7?

Several of the findings are quite intriguing and have significant implications for telecom leaders. One thing is for sure: The difference in iPhone 7 needs and wants varies greatly based on customers’ current make and model, wireless carrier and brand loyalty. Understanding who these customers are and what differentiates their interests in upgrading to the iPhone 7 is of paramount importance when developing messaging campaigns, forecasts and product roadmaps. In our report, iPhone 7 Market Landscaper, we explore these differences and provide the data telecom leaders need to optimize their marketing plans. Download iPhone 7 Market Landscaper now or contact Greg Mishkin, vice president of Market Strategies’ Telecommunications division for more information.

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Will content providers hold telecom carriers hostage?

Will content providers hold telecom carriers hostage?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Point-Counterpoint article with my good friend, colleague and sparring partner, Paul Hartley, which focused on fast lanes, free lanes and net neutrality. Interestingly, this topic has become big news again—albeit with a very unexpected twist.

It came to light that Netflix has been downsampling or degrading the quality of the content it delivers to AT&T and Verizon networks (yet not to Sprint or T-Mobile), not because these carriers want Netflix to do so but rather because Netflix feels it is in its own best interest.

On the surface, this may appear counterintuitive. Why would Netflix want to deliver lower quality video to the two largest mobile carriers in the US? Their logic is interesting–Netflix believes that AT&T’s and Verizon’s business model, which allows for overage charges if customers exceed their data caps, will discourage customers from wanting to stream movies for fear that overages will kick in. T-Mobile and Sprint, for the most part, don’t assess overage charges when customers exceed their data allowance—rather they throttle down the network speed to limit how much additional data can be effectively downloaded.

There are valid arguments on both sides of whether it is better to throttle or charge for overages, and this is not what I intend to debate here (although Paul and I may take this up in a future Point-Counterpoint article). Rather, the fact that Netflix is even able to do this because it’s not bound by net neutrality rules raises a very important issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

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Net Neutrality: Fast Lanes vs. Free Lanes

Telecom Showdown

Editor’s Note: This is round one of Point-Counterpoint, a new blog series that pits two feisty telecom experts against each other in the ultimate industry showdown. Let’s get ready to rumblllllllllllllle!

Americans’ thirst for streaming video and audio content is growing exponentially. Not long ago, one or two gigabytes of data were more than anyone could reasonably need from their phones. But as the options for streaming increase and the quality and speeds improve, the average smartphone user has started to pay close attention to data limits.

T-Mobile was the first major carrier to address data limit concerns with Binge On in November of last year. Binge On allows users to stream video from participating content providers without counting against data caps. Verizon followed in January of this year with a very different approach of getting content to subscribers’ devices: Its FreeBee data program allows content providers to sponsor specific data content so that sponsored data isn’t debited against the end user’s cap. Shortly thereafter, AT&T reintroduced unlimited data plans for customers who also subscribe to DirecTV services, reversing a five-year hiatus on AT&T unlimited data plans and joining several other carriers that offer unlimited data services.

It’s not clear the extent to which these zero-rating programs—or free lanes—benefit customers or are even allowable considering the FCC’s net neutrality rules. In this installment of Market Strategies’ Point-Counterpoint blog series, telecom experts Greg Mishkin and Paul Hartley debate both sides of this issue, demonstrating that there is not one “right” position.  Continue reading

Santa Baby, Please Bring Me Some Cash…or Perhaps a Laptop

Santa Baby

Recently I was listening to the incomparable Eartha Kitt singing her signature 1953 holiday tune “Santa Baby,” and I was marveling at the audacity with which she asked Santa for some pretty outrageous gifts. Eartha’s wish list spans multiple luxury categories, including furs (a sable, to be exact), vehicles (a ’54 convertible and a yacht), jewelry (a ring and some baubles from Tiffany), some property (a duplex and a platinum mine) and naturally some checks for making future purchases. In the tune, Eartha has an opportunity to influence the gifts she’s likely to receive, and she doesn’t hesitate to ask for the big stuff.

Listening to and talking about “Santa Baby” got us curious about what folks would want to receive now, in late 2015, if some benevolent gift-giver (whether Santa or someone else) was offering, and money was no object. We here at Market Strategies wanted to know what fantastic gifts Americans are yearning for this holiday season, so we ran a poll to find out. We asked 960 Americans the following:

If Santa or some other benevolent gift-giver were to bring you something, what would you be thrilled to receive? Please don’t take price into account in your response—assume you wouldn’t pay anything for the gift (including tax).

We included a long list of gifts across categories—technology, luxury goods, property, vehicles, vacations and experiences, and plain old cash. We also allowed folks to tell us they’d pass on a gift altogether (though only 3% did).

So what would Americans be thrilled to get this holiday season?

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Big Data Lessons from the NSA

2013-06-bigdataOne of the biggest news stories lately has been the revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been using big data from telecommunications companies to spy on people. The reaction to this story has been divided. While a portion of the American public has responded with shock, anger and fear, accusing the federal government of becoming Big Brother and ignoring citizens’ right to privacy, others have defended the surveillance as necessary to our homeland security and, ultimately, not a big deal.

The merits of whether the government should mine telecommunications data will likely be debated for many years to come, and it is probably best to have that debate in the press and at dinner tables across the nation. However, for market researchers who specialize in data sciences and big data methodology, there are important lessons to learn (or perhaps to be reminded of) from the NSA debacle.
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