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Euopeans eager to upgrade mobile phones
Posted: 08-May-2006 [Source: Telephia]

[Telephia reports 27% of European mobile phone users purchase a new phone every year and nearly 60% upgrade after two years.]

Twenty-seven percent of European mobile users replace their cell phones every year, according to Telephia, the leading provider of performance measurement information to the mobile industry. This rate increases by more than twofold after 24 months, with roughly 60 percent of Europeans buying new phones by the two year mark. Telephia's Q1 2006 European Subscriber and Device Report (ESDR) shows that new phone purchases take place most often during the end of contracts, with heavy purchase rates occurring during the 12, 24, and 36 month periods.

Mobile consumers in Spain and Italy demonstrate a faster rate of cell phone replacement as compared to other European countries; with new phone purchases occurring after 23 months (see Table 1). According to Telephia, wireless users in the U.K. buy new phones on average after 24.2 months, while Swedish consumers replace their devices after 24.9 months. French and German mobile users make new phone purchases around 26.5 and 26.7 months, respectively. Across Europe, the average replacement cycle falls at the 25.1 month mark.

"Europe is truly a mobile society. This mobility generates a constant consumer engagement with their phones," said Bernard Brenner, Director of New Products'International, Telephia. "With the average lifespan of a phone lasting just two years before users want to upgrade, it puts pressure on the whole wireless industry ecosystem to continuously innovate their products and services portfolio to renew the 'wow' factor for consumers."

Table 1: European Cell Phone Replacement Cycle Rate by Country

Countries Number of Months

Spain 23.2

Italy 23.6

UK 24.2

Sweden 24.9

France 26.5

Germany 26.7

Pan Europe(a) 25.1

Source: Telephia European Subscriber and Device Report Q1 2006

(a) Telephia Pan Europe market share data includes total share from six European countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, and Spain.

European Teens and Young Adults Show Fastest New Phone Purchase Rates

Teens age 15-17 purchase a new phone on average every 20 months, the fastest among all age groups, with 39 percent of teens purchasing at the one year mark (see table 2). European young adults age 18-24 followed closely, buying new devices after 21 months. Thirty-five percent of 18-24 year olds buy at the one year timeframe. On the other end of the spectrum, older mobile users age 55 and over keep their cell phones an average of two and half years, with new purchases usually occurring around 31 months.

"Added to the social and consumer pressure of having the latest device, young mobile users are naturally more apt to adopt advanced data services," added Brenner. "Teens and young adults are more than twice as likely as older users to use advanced services and applications such as MP3 and video downloads. This creates the need for more frequent replacement just to stay technologically current."

Age Group Number of Months

15-17 20.3

18-24 21.6

25-34 23.5

35-44 25.8

45-54 27.1

55+ 30.8

Source: Telephia European Subscriber and Device Report Q1 2006

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