PRESS RELEASE: Devicescape Unveils Q3 2010 WiFi Report Results
Data Capping Emerges as Major Concern Among Respondents
SAN BRUNO, Calif., October 21, 2010 – Devicescape, the leader in Easy WiFi, and Eye-Fi, makers of the world’s first wireless memory card, revealed results from its third quarter 2010 WiFi Report today, providing new insight into respondents’ concerns about data capping, their device usage during travel and their expectations about photo sharing while away from home. Conducted by Survey Monkey and sponsored by Devicescape and Eye-Fi, the survey polled almost 160 respondents from around the world — a cross-section of Devicescape’s members that included professionals and students.
Key findings from the Q3 2010 “Devicescape WiFi Report” showed:
The majority of respondents (77.9 percent) would consider switching service providers if their current plan was data-capped. Almost 79 percent indicated data capping would impact how much video they stream.
Almost 91 percent of respondents feared that their service providers would pass along costs associated with data traffic surges to them.
A majority of respondents (61.2 percent) indicated they would not pay a premium price for an unlimited data plan.
Most respondents (86.4 percent) wish they could e-mail and/or share their new photos and videos within one week, and over one-half (55.9 percent) wish they could share them immediately.
A majority of respondents (67 percent) believe that digital cameras do not have enough sharing capabilities built into them.
Most respondents (86 percent) expect their laptops or netbooks to automatically connect to the Internet, with cell phones/smartphones coming in second (84 percent), gaming devices coming in third (43.2 percent), and digital cameras coming in fourth (37.6 percent).
Laptops (92.6 percent) are cited as the most important device to bring on business trips; cell phones/smartphones slightly outrank (92.9 percent) laptops for vacation travel. Regardless, more than 88 percent of respondents who travel expect hotels to offer WiFi.
Ninety-eight percent of respondents want WiFi built into their laptops; 94.7 percent expect it to be built into their cell phones. Growing numbers want WiFi built into their gaming devices (68.4 percent) and digital cameras (54.1 percent).
Photo sharing is emerging as a popular use of WiFi, with that capability on digital cameras driving purchase decisions for 57.5 percent of respondents.
When faced with data capping, consumer loyalty put to the test
As data traffic increases, service providers choosing not to offload to WiFi are turning instead to data capping. The Q3 Devicescape WiFi Report finds that, while data capping makes financial sense for service providers, their customers are not in favor of such restrictions. In fact, almost 80 percent of those surveyed said they would go to such lengths as to switch providers to avoid data capping. This is hardly surprising, as consumers are increasingly dependent on connected devices in their everyday lives, and data capping would have a dramatic impact on their respective lifestyles.
These numbers and attitudes suggest that, ultimately, service providers must find alternatives to data capping — e.g. offloading to more affordable WiFi — in order to retain customers. (Incidentally, 71.8 percent of respondents do not pay extra for WiFi anyhow, so offloading seems to be a win-win for service providers and their consumers.)
Still, a fair number of respondents (38.8 percent) indicated they would pay a premium price for unlimited data plans. Almost 60 percent of these respondents would pay less than $25 for unlimited data plans, while 33.1 percent would pay up to $50. This underscores consumers’ ever-increasing need to connect anytime, anywhere — using laptops, smartphones, gaming devices and even digital cameras.
The survey also shed light on the surprising lack of communication between the service provider and its consumers. Only 24.3 percent of respondents feel their service provider is adequately explaining coverage and options, and only 47.5 percent believe they even have the proper tools to access the Internet using their smartphones.
Connectivity is king for consumers, regardless of location
Since the very first Devicescape WiFi report in April 2009, results have consistently pointed to a single, ongoing trend: Connectivity is a necessity. Equally important, according to past results, is that WiFi be built into “smart” devices, enabling anytime, anywhere connectivity.
These two ideas continue to reign in Devicescape’s most recent report. This quarter’s respondents want WiFi connectivity built into their laptops/netbooks (98 percent) and cell phones/smartphones (94.7 percent). Additionally, the majority (69.3 percent) of respondents want WiFi connectivity when they’re traveling away from home, with 88.2 percent expecting WiFi to be available at every hotel.
This quarter’s survey also focused on the types of WiFi-enabled devices consumers bring along during business travel vs. vacation travel. Laptops/netbooks emerged most important for business travel, with a whopping 92.6 percent of respondents indicating so. Cell phones/smartphones were close behind with 91.9 percent, while digital cameras seemed less important to business travelers (42.3 percent). The need for cell phones/smartphones took the lead for vacationers (92.9 percent), with laptops dropping to second place at 84.4 percent. Digital cameras came in third for vacationers, with 72.7 percent.
Consumers still want automatic Internet connectivity for their laptops (86 percent) and cell phones (84 percent). However, Internet connectivity for other devices — like gaming devices (43.2 percent) and digital cameras (37.6 percent) — is steadily gaining ground.
Photo sharing gains foothold in mobile market
For the first time in the history of the Devicescape WiFi Reports, consumers are citing the importance of WiFi for the purpose of sharing digital photos. In fact, more than 54 percent of respondents want their digital cameras to have built-in WiFi. Another 67.1 percent of respondents indicated that they would like even more sharing capabilities to be made available on their digital cameras to facilitate easier uploads to sites such as Facebook and Flickr.
Respondents not only believe digital photo sharing via WiFi is easier, they also seem to appreciate how quickly they can share their digital memories with others. For example, over 48 percent of respondents want to share their photos in real time. And more than 57 percent don’t want to wait until they get home from vacation to share their photos. This ease-of-use drives demand for digital cameras with WiFi and naturally greatly influences purchase decisions, with 57.5 percent of respondents indicating they would be more likely to buy a digital camera with photo-sharing capabilities built in.
“Every quarter’s results yield new supporting evidence that WiFi is gaining significant ground in the mobile market, whether through demand for WiFi in new devices or through new carrier strategies for offloading data traffic to a WiFi network,” said Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape. “It’s exciting to document shifts in the industry, and the new ways WiFi can be used to unburden service provider networks and facilitate better and less-expensive connectivity for consumers.”
Devicescape will continue to deliver information about WiFi usage and consumer behavior quarterly via the “Devicescape WiFi Report.” Devicescape encourages the public to submit questions for future surveys by sending them to: DevicescapeWiFiReport@devicescape.com.
Devicescape WiFi Report Methodology
Survey Monkey polled more than 160 WiFi users, representing a cross-section of Devicescape’s overall membership. The survey questions were developed by Devicescape and a cross-section of industry WiFi leaders. Devicescape members include a wide array of working professionals from a variety industries as well as students in the United States and around the world.
With more than 2 million members, Devicescape is the leader in Easy WiFi. The company has worked with original equipment manufacturers and service providers since its inception. Devicescape’s Easy WiFi enables anytime, anywhere, any network WiFi access.
Devicescape is the leader in Easy WiFi. The company has worked with device manufacturers and service providers since its inception and has hundreds of design wins in the best WiFi products. Easy WiFi allows for the creation of superior products which are powerful, yet easy to use and compatible with a global network market.
Headquartered in San Bruno, California, the company is privately held and backed by leading venture capital companies including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, Enterprise Partners, and JAFCO. To learn more, please visit http://www.devicescape.com.
Founded in 2005, Eye-Fi is dedicated to building products and services that help consumers manage, nurture and share their visual memories. Eye-Fi’s patented and patent-pending technology wirelessly and automatically uploads photos and videos from digital imaging devices, including digital cameras and the iPhone, to online, in-home and retail destinations.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., the company’s investors include LMS Capital, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures and TransLink Capital. More information is available at www.eye.fi.
Eye-Fi memory cards work like a regular SDHC memory card and are compatible with most compact and DSLR cameras. Users can also select which photos and videos are uploaded, and where they’re shared – choosing from 45 partner sites, including Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and more. Never run out of space with Endless Memory.
Eye-Fi products and services are now available at Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot and Apple stores nationwide and online. For more information about Eye-Fi, please visit www.eye.fi.
(First posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:54 EDT)