Smartphone Users Fed Up With Providers, Lack of Security

The Accenture study indicated privacy and security are becoming critical priorities--47 percent of smartphone users are concerned about privacy and security issues.

smartphones and accenture

More than half of smartphone users surveyed by Accenture for a 2016 report titled the “Screenager Report” are dissatisfied with their mobile experience and are ready to switch mobile providers.

The report, derived from data collected in Accenture’s 2016 Digital Consumer Survey, found that despite the widespread ownership and use of smartphones—with 80 percent of consumers surveyed now owning a device, up from 26 percent in 2012—the majority of smartphone owners are unhappy with their mobile service.

Sixty percent said they are dissatisfied with their connectivity and experience and would switch providers, while 83 percent said they are unhappy with mobile advertising interfering with their experience.

The report found that the most common smartphone activities other than talking and texting are watching video (cited by 81 percent of smartphone owners) and playing online games (69 percent).

The study also indicated privacy and security are becoming critical priorities with 47 percent of smartphone users concerned about privacy and security issues. The lack of service quality is also causing frustration for users.

In addition, 71 percent said they are ready to pay extra for a better mobile network connection and 83 percent think advertising interruptions when watching digital content are far too frequent.

However, the percentage of consumers who plan to increase spending on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs in the next 12 months dropped by 60 percent since 2014, from 33 percent to only 13 percent in 2015.

At the same time, the data pointed to opportunities for mobile providers to improve their service and meet consumer demands.

For example, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of smartphone users said they would pay more to a provider for better connectivity, and more than four in five (83 percent) said they would buy more products and services if reliability and the speed with which problems are resolved were improved.

Turning to the Internet of things (IoT) and connected devices, 41 percent said they already own at least one intelligent device like a smartwatch or fitness tracker, up 12 percent from 2015, but nearly two thirds (64 percent) said they experience problems when using those devices.

"As companies rush to release more and more intelligent devices and IoT applications, consumers have yet to be sold on their value propositions," the report noted. "These devices may be smart, but most are not easy to use and don’t offer clear services."