The ability to stay constantly connected to the Internet is making consumers increasingly dependent on the cloud for their daily needs, Ericsson 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.
Behaviour 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 per cent of US users of portable storage devices said that they wanted to be able to synchronise these with their home PC files from anywhere. And 49 per cent 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 per cent 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 utilise an increasing number of cloud-based services to perform everyday tasks.