Level of income is another demographic variable which has been used to segment the UK smartphone market and ComScore (2011) has identified three distinct segments; namely, the high tier, the mid-tier and the low-tier segments. Those in the high tier spend more on handset devices and tariffs (over £35), followed by the mid-tier and the low tier segments respectively (ComScore, 2011). Although smartphones are currently perceived as a luxury item (which means that ownership should be highest in the high-tier segment), the mid-tier and the low-tier segments are the fastest growing segments in the UK (ComScore, 2011). According to ComScore (2011), adoption rates for the mid and low-tiers stand at 76%, while adoption rates in the higher tier are just 60%.
Smartphone usage rates also suggest that behavioural variables can be used to segment the market. In this, there could be three market segments: heavy users, light users and non-users, with firms like Apple being described as targeting the heavy user segment (2 in every ten users of iPhones spend at least four hours daily on their smartphones, compared to just out of every ten users for the Blackberry and the Android (Rebecca, 2011)). Thus, the Blackberry and Android smartphones can be said to target light users. In addition, some brands are more popular on occasion: the Blackberry was the most sought after smartphone during the last holiday season, in December (driving its market share for that month to the top of the UK smartphone market). This suggests that occasions can be used for segmentation purposes, which also reflects behavioural segmentation (Mostyn, 2011; Wrenn et al., 2006).
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