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Consumers take their lives into the cloud

  • Date: 2011.05.16
  • Consumers increasingly rely on cloud-based services to perform everyday tasks
  • 35 percent of US Android and iPhone users interact with such non-voice apps as Facebook on their smartphones before even getting out of bed
  • Ericsson Consumer Lab’s research findings were presented at Ericsson Business Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley on May 11

  • The ability to stay constantly connected to the internet is making consumers increasingly dependent on the cloud for their daily needs, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) ConsumerLab research has found. And while the smartphone revolution may have started this trend, the research has shown it is app usage that is likely to make it continue. Apps are actually shaping the way people are using connected devices. 

Behavior around apps is also creating a new set of expectations when it comes to connecting consumer electronic devices. Devices must be connected if they are to be useful. For example, 54 percent of US users of portable storage devices said that they wanted to be able to synchronize these with their home PC files from anywhere. And 49 percent of camera owners in the sample wanted direct access to secure online storage for their photos. 

Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: “Our research found apps are appealing to people at an emotional level. Consumers become attached to a certain set of apps that makes them feel more in control of their lives, and turns everyday chores into positive experiences. Apps even give consumers a new sense of freedom; if a new situation arises, there’s probably an app out there that could help them.”

The research – conducted in a number of locations, including the US, parts of Europe and Japan – found that consumers are increasingly connecting to the internet via their smartphones before they even get out of bed. In 2011, 35 percent of US Android and iPhone users said that they interacted with such non-voice apps as Facebook on their smartphones before rising. The ease of internet access is enabling consumers to utilize an increasing number of cloud-based services to perform everyday tasks. 

Consumers today depend less on the devices they use, and more on the apps that help them – not only to connect to news or social-media sites, for example, but also to find a place to eat, organize their family schedules and other everyday activities. The app culture is turning into a new way of living and is now also spreading to tablet users and other devices. 

Ericsson ConsumerLab’s research also found that this “app culture” is easily transferable between mobile devices – people are using apps on tablets in much the same way as they do on smartphones. The context and situation, not the device, determine how the consumer uses the app. 
Ericsson ConsumerLab studies also reveal what may be a turning point – regardless of the device they are using, people are increasingly discovering how difficult it is when they are not continuously connected to the cloud. 
The findings of 18 months’ research carried out by Ericsson ConsumerLab into mobile-internet usage were presented at the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley in the US on May 11. 

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Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the “prime driver in an all-communicating world” through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York. 


Ericsson ConsumerLab is a knowledge-based organization. We provide consumer insight to influence strategy, marketing and product management in the Ericsson Group. Our knowledge helps operators develop attractive revenue-generating services. 
We gain our knowledge through a global research program based on annual interviews with 80,000 individuals in more than 40 countries – statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. We have been doing this since 1995 and we use both quantitative and qualitative research. We spend hundreds of hours on in-depth interviews and focus groups with consumers from different cultures. Our research includes general market and consumer trends and in-depth insights into specific areas. 
To be close to the market and the consumers, ConsumerLab has team members in most of Ericsson’s market regions. Being part of the Ericsson Group gives us a thorough understanding of the information and communication technologies (ICT), their market and business models. This broad knowledge is unique and is the basis for our credibility and integrity. We see the big picture, understand where the individual fits in, and know what this means for future trends and services.

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