Android Smartphone Owners Not Protecting Their Devices: NPD

While a large portion of smartphone owners do use a case to protect their smartphones, one in four go without a case, according to an NPD survey.

One in three Android owners said they don’t use a case because they weren’t worried about dropping their phone, and one-third of iPhone owners who do not use a case say a case would add too much bulk to the design of their phone, according to a report from The NPD Group.

While a large portion of smartphone owners do use a case to protect their smartphones, one in four go without a case, and among this group, almost 70 percent own an Android phone, while just 20 percent are using an iPhone.

iPhone owners are also more likely to own multiple cases during the lifespan of their phones. Nearly half (49 percent) of iPhone owners have attached more than one case to their device during its lifespan, and a one-quarter own more than one as a way to change the look of their phone.

"Case usage among iPhone owners is higher than any other phone type," Ben Arnold, executive director and industry analyst at NPD, said in a statement. "While the large selection of cases made for iPhones on the market today is likely driving much of this attachment, there are also differences in the protection motivations of owners. For instance, 27 percent of iPhone owners classify themselves as 'quality protectors', those who seek the absolute maximum level of protection from a smartphone case, while just 13 percent of Android owners classify themselves as such."

According to the study, iPhone and Android owners show different propensities for protecting their devices. For instance, 87 percent of iPhone owners use a protective case with their phone, which is higher than the average for all smartphone users. Meanwhile, just two-thirds (66 percent) Android phone owners use a protective case.

Still, 75 percent of smartphone owners have a case on their phone. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, over the past 12 months, unit sales of mobile phone cases have grown 17 percent and, according to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track Service, smartphone device sales have increased 24 percent.

"The mobile phone protection market now includes a variety of brands, features and price points that appeal to nearly any type of smartphone owner," Arnold continued. "However, there is still a good portion of the consumer market not using them and in an effort to appeal to that segments we could begin to see a focus in the market on ultra slim case form factors and materials that both protect and maintain the phone’s design integrity."