Two in three feature phone users upgrading to a smartphone


Which kind of mobile phone upgrade did you do? graph of japanese statisticsMobile Marketing Data Laboratory recently published a very interesting “fixed point” survey regarding mobile handset purchasing. I’m not sure exactly what a “fixed point” is; it might be referring to this being a regular survey?


Between the 11th and 15th of October 2013 995 members of the MMD Labo monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. All of them had purchased a mobile phone between April and September of 2013, and all were aged over 18 but under 65 years old, but no further demographics were given.

Note that regarding Q1SQ2, docomo only sells the newer iPhones 5s and 5c, yet even though they only came out on the 20th of September, they made up nearly 20% of docomo’s sales in just 5% of the half-year measured! They also made up nearly 25% of SoftBank’s sales, but that could be explained by people holding off upgrading until the new model came out.

Research results

Q1: Which did you buy within the last six months, a feature phone or a smartphone? (Sample size=995)

Feature phone18.0%
Smartphone (to SQ1)82.0%

Q1SQ1: Which carrier did you buy your smartphone from? (Sample size=816)

docomo (to SQ2)31.9%
au (to SQ3)34.7%
SoftBank (to SQ4)33.5%

Q1SQ2: Which docomo smartphone did you buy? (Sample size=260)

Sony Xperia A SO-04E26.2%
Apple iPhone 5s15.8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 SC-04E10.4%
Sony Xperia Z SO-02E6.5%
Other Sony Xperia4.6%
Apple iPhone 5c3.8%
Toshiba Arrows NX F-06E3.5%
Toshiba Arrows X F-02E3.1%
Panasonic Eluga P P-03E3.1%
Other Toshiba Arrows2.7%

Q1SQ3: Which au smartphone did you buy? (Sample size=283)

Apple iPhone 523.0%
Sony Xperia UL SOL2212.0%
Apple iPhone 5s11.0%
Sharp Aquos Phone Serie SHL2210.6%
Other Sony Xperia7.4%
Kyocera Urbano L017.4%
Sharp Aquos Phone Serie SHL214.9%
Apple iPhone 5c3.9%
HTC J One HTL223.2%
Apple iPhone 4S2.1%

Q1SQ4: Which SoftBank smartphone did you buy? (Sample size=273)

Apple iPhone 551.3%
Apple iPhone 5s19/8%
Sharp Aquos Phone Xx 203SH4.0%
iPhone 5c3.7%
Sharp Aquos Phone Xx 206SH3.7%
Apple iPhone 4S2.9%
Sharp Simple Smartphone 204SH2.6%
Sharp Aquos Phone ss 205SH1.8%
Toshiba Arrows A 201F1.5%
Sharp Pantone ® 6 200SH1.5%

Q2: Which kind of mobile phone did you previously use? (Sample size=995)

Feature phone (to SQ)51.4%

Q2SQ: Which kind of mobile phone did you upgrade to? (Sample size=511)

Feature phone31.5%

If we combine Q1, Q2 and Q2SQ, we get the following. Note that I cannot deduce the exact numbers for upgraders from smartphones due to insufficient data in this report.

Q1+Q2+Q2SQ: Which kind of mobile phone upgrade did you do? (Sample size=995)

Feature phone to feature phone16.2%
Feature phone to smartphone35.2%
Smartphone to feature phone0.4% to 1.8%
Smartphone to smartphone45.4% to 46.8%
New purchase, not upgrade1.4%

Q3: What dissatisfactions do you have regarding purchasing your new mobile phone? (Sample size=995, multiple answer)

Difficult to understand the pricing stucture33.3%
Options got bundled with the plan29.9%
There was a long waiting time25.7%
Difficult to understand the various services21.8%
Difficult to know which handset is the best16.2%
Difficult to move my data across12.2%
Difficult to understand the sales staff11.8%
Device was out of stock9.9%
Few working devices to help me choose9.0%
Have no dissatisfactions24.7%
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