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What Are the Most Important Features for Smartphone Buyers?

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Apple or Android or Windows? It's an important consideration, but it's not the most important.

Screen size? Nope.

It must be the camera. Still nope.

How about app selection? Not at all.

Think basics. What is the most annoying thing about your smartphone, regardless of who made it? It's the battery life.

IDC Survey: What Drove Your Purchase?

IDC Analyst Francisco Jeronimo tweeted out the results of a recent survey by the company that lays out the motivating factors behind a smartphone purchase, and despite the longstanding debate of Apple v. Android (and the litigation), brand and operating system came in behind battery life.

Why? In our experience, a smartphone isn't very smart or useful if it's dead, and even though they keep making phones prettier and faster, little progress has been made on the battery front. Think about a Palm smartphone from ten years ago: the battery life wasn't significantly different, but the screen, software, camera, data speeds, and app selection were way worse.

Of course, it's not like there hasn't been progress in making better batteries -- bigger screens, more data and app use, faster processors, and all of the other advancements simply require more power. That being said, there's not a whole lot more that companies can do to make a better smartphone, other than make a better battery. Curved screens, more storage, and better durability would be fun features to have, but having a phone last past 5 p.m. would be even better.

Interesting Divisions

A lot of the results, including battery life significance, were consistent across platforms, but there were some interesting splits:

  • Thirty-two percent of iPhone purchasers were concerned with branding, compared to twenty-five percent for Android and Windows phone buyers.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Android buyers were concerned about screen size, versus twenty-two percent of iPhone buyers.
  • Camera resolution was consistently ranked as one of the least important factors.

The second point is especially interesting -- with Apple rumored to be introducing one or more larger phones this year, will that sway Android buyers to jump ship?

If it's not the battery life, what is it? Tweet us your top killer feature to @FindLawLP.

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