Smartphones, Tablets, Wearables on the Wish List for Consumers

When asked which will have the biggest influence on new smartphone purchases, 42 percent cited upgrading an existing smartphone.

smartphones and tablets

Three out of four consumers will buy new electronics this year, with 36% of buyers spending $500 or more, according to a survey of 1,000 adults sponsored by online shopping resource FatWallet and conducted by TNS.

Of those buyers, one out of five will spend at least $2,000, reflecting a 21 percent increase in big electronics spending in 2014.

The report also found that half of American adults plan to buy new smartphones, up 4 percent from 2014, and 21 percent will buy a new smartphone in order to lower costs from an existing mobile carrier.

Of those, half said they would buy a smartphone with Google’s Android operating system, a jump of 17 percent from 2014, while 40 percent said they will buy iPhones. Just 5 percent will buy Windows phones.

When asked which will have the biggest influence on smartphone purchases, 42 percent cited upgrading an existing smartphone; 25 percent said they will switch to a different brand; 20 percent are looking for a bigger screen, and 12 percent plan to switch to no-contract carriers.

Electronics shoppers will buy 42 percent more wireless or Bluetooth headphones and speakers this year, while one in 10 will buy new wearables (up 50 percent from 2014), with 16 percent of Millennials buying wearables.

"We think Apple Watch will have a big impact, if not right away, for giving the wearables market a cool factor, then eventually as developers shift to making the wearables applications to form for that technology," Brent Shelton, media relations manager at FatWallet, told eWEEK. "The more we're able to do with the watch without having to hold a bigger smartphone all the time, the more wearables will become part of our tech eco-systems."

Of the 34 percent of consumers who will buy a new laptop this year, 25 percent will buy HP; 22 percent plan to purchase a Dell; 19 percent want an Apple; 10 percent plan to go with Samsung, while Lenovo (6 percent) and Asus (5 percent) round out the choices. Overall, 30% more consumers plan to buy laptops this year than in 2014.

Of the 27 percent that plan to buy a new tablet in 2015, 42 percent said they want iPads; 32 percent want Android tablets; 15 percent want Windows tablets, and 10 percent want Kindles.

The study also found that an increasing number of consumers, especially Millennials, will use mobile devices to make their electronics purchases this year. Survey results also indicate that consumers will use online coupon or deal sites when buying electronics 11 percent more often than last year—the uptick among Millennials was 25 percent.

Shelton said marketing of tech eco-systems to a generation of consumers that stream media is the main factor causing the increase in personal electronics sales across notebooks, smartphones and tablets.

"They want this media in a quality format, wherever and whenever possible. So, owning a smartphone, tablet and laptop is becoming more common, and upgrading to ensure speed and quality is important to the consumer," he explained. "Wearables are the next piece in this eco-system, not a 'have to have' just yet, but they will be."