The ability to stay constantly connected to the internet is making consumers increasingly dependent on the cloud for their daily needs, according to Ericsson ConsumerLab.
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.
Around 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.
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”, said Michael Bjorn, head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab.
The research was conducted in a number of locations, including the US, parts of Europe and Japan. It 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 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.