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Ten hot consumer trends for 2013

Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified some of the most important consumer trends for the coming year.

The cloud reshaping consumer needs and women driving the smartphone market are some of the important trends. Young people's behavior changes society and the internet gets put to new use in times of economic uncertainty.

As 2012 draws to a close, Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified the hottest consumer trends for 2013 and beyond. For more than 15 years, ConsumerLab has conducted research into people's values, behavior and ways of using ICT products and services.

Michael Björn, Head of Research at ConsumerLab, says: "Our global research program is based on annual interviews with over 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities. Over the years we have amassed a huge database of consumer trend data - and we see that the pace of change is currently more rapid than ever"

Here are the 10 hottest consumer trends:

1. Cloud reliance reshapes device needs. More than 50 percent of tablet users and well above 40 percent of smartphone users in USA, Japan, Australia and Sweden appreciate the improved simplicity of having the same apps and data seamlessly available through the cloud on multiple devices.

2. Computing for a scattered mind. From desktops, files and folders to flat surfaces, apps and cloud services, consumers are increasingly turning their backs on a computing paradigm for the focused mind.

Tasks are handled at the spur of the moment - as we stand in a shopping line or talk to someone at a café. Purchase intent is higher for tablets compared to desktop PCs, and for smartphones compared to laptops.

3. Bring your own broadband to work. A total of 57 percent of smartphone users use their personal smartphone subscriptions at work. Personal smartphones are increasingly being used for work, to send emails, plan business trips, find locations and more.

4. City-dwellers go relentlessly mobile. By relentlessly accessing the internet always and everywhere, consumers are now an unstoppable force making internet truly mobile. Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 3.3 billion by 2018 and mobile network coverage is one of the most important drivers of satisfaction for city life.

5. Personal social security networks. As a result of economic turbulence, trust in traditional structures and authorities is decreasing and consumers increasingly trust their personal communities.

Personal networks online serve as a safety net and social media is shaping up to be a serious contender to the traditional job agency.

6. Women drive the smartphone market. New figures clearly show that women drive mass-market smartphone adoption.

No less than 97 percent of female smartphone owners use SMS. A total of 77 percent send and receive photos, 59 percent use social networking, 24 percent check in at locations and 17 percent redeem coupons. The figures for men are lower in these areas.

7. Cities become hubs for social creativity. City center dwellers have significantly more friends online than people in suburban areas. 12 percent of people that live in cities say that the main reason for using social networks is to connect and exchange ideas with others, making it the third most common reason for social networking after staying up-to-date with friends and keeping them updated.

8. In-line shopping. A total of 32 percent of smartphone users already shop with smartphones; they now start to combine in-store and online shopping aspects.

They want to see products, get information and make price comparisons, and make purchases immediately without having to que up at the cash register.

9. TV goes social. A total of 62 percent of viewers use social forums while watching video and TV - and 42 percent of those who use social forums or chats while watching discuss things they currently watch on a weekly basis. Over 30 percent are more likely to pay for content watched in social contexts.

The majority of video and TV consumption on mobile devices takes place in the home.

10. Learning in transformation. Learning is transformed through both internal and external forces: Young people bring their personal technology experience into the classroom, driving a bottom-up pressure for change. Simultaneously governments and institutions look for new ICT solutions in order to be more efficient. Connectivity changes the outlook for children on a global scale.

In India, around 30 million of 69 million urban children aged 9 to 18 own mobile phones.

Ericsson ConsumerLab gains its knowledge through a global consumer research program based on interviews with 100,000 individuals each year, in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities - statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used, and hundreds of hours are spent with consumers from different cultures.

All ConsumerLab reports can be found at: www.ericsson.com/consumerlab

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.

Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries.

Today more than 40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers' networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscribers.


Iraq mobile firm aims to raise $1.23 bn in IPO

Iraq's second-biggest mobile operator Asiacell aims to raise $1.23 billion in an initial public offering next month, it said, after pressure from Baghdad's media regulator to be listed on the bourse.

The firm, in which Qatar Telecom holds a majority stake, and Iraq's two other mobile phone companies -- Kuwait's Zain and Korek, in which France Telecom and Kuwait's Agility Logistics have stakes -- were fined for failing to issue IPOs on the Iraq Stock Exchange, Zain said in July.

The company said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that the share offer is expected to be among "the biggest ... in the Middle East region in the past year."

Asiacell will offer 67.503 billion shares, representing 25 percent of the total share capital, at a price of at least 22 Iraqi dinars (1.8 US cents) per share when the offer opens on January 3.

"This is another step closer to our share offer which is a significant development for us as a company," said Asiacell managing director Faruk Rasool.

Asiacell is the second-biggest mobile phone company in Iraq by subscribers, with 9.9 million, after Zain, which says it has more than 12 million customers.

AFP


Ericsson reveals $1.22 bn hit over joint venture

Swedish telecom group Ericsson said on Thursday it would book a charge of eight billion kronor ($1.22 billion or 923 million euros) in the fourth quarter over its misfiring mobile chip venture ST-Ericsson.

The company said it would not become the full owner of the joint venture, after semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics last week announced it would sell its half.

"The charge includes a writedown of assets to reflect the current best estimate of Ericsson's share of the fair market value of the joint venture, as well as additional charges related to the available strategic options for the future of the ST-Ericsson assets," the company said in a statement.

The implementation of those options accounted for around three million kronor of the charge, most of which would be spent next year, it said.

AFP



TOPSHOTS This picture taken on December 25, 2012 shows umbrellas hanging over a commercial street in Fuzhou, south Chinas Fujian province. China will make increasing domestic demand a top priority in 2013, state media said on December 16 following a key
conference that sets the countrys economic goals. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO

 

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