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Confusion and Skepticism May Impede 4G Adoption
As Verizon continues to roll out their 4G LTE network across the country at an accelerated rate and AT&T also picking up speed in their 4G deployment it would seem that widespread 4G cell phone adoption is a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, it looks like consumers may be so confused over 4G that they become hesitant to move to 4G, at least in the near term. In a recent Retrevo Gadgetology study only a little less than a quarter of the respondents say they’re going for 4G. With so many potential 4G customers expressing concerns about cost and performance providers of 4G phones and services could be in for some disappointment.
A Third of iPhone Owners Mistakenly Think Their Phones Have 4G
Maybe the “4” in the iPhone 4 name gives iPhone owners (34%) the false impression that they already own a 4G phone but the fact is Apple doesn’t offer a 4G phone at the moment. Coincidentally, a suspiciously large percentage of Android and BlackBerry owners may be suffering from the same delusion. BlackBerry owners (24%) are almost as confused as iPhone owners since RIM doesn’t currently offer a 4G phone. At least some Android owners could be answering correctly as Android 4G phones like the HTC Evo 4G or Samsung Infuse 4G have been available for some time. If nothing else this large number of “misinformed” phone owners serves to emphasize the fact that consumers are quite confused about 4G.
Almost a Third Think 4G is Too Expensive
Not only are many consumers confused about 4G, another significant group is under the impression that the performance gains of 4G are not worth the cost. With early benchmarks showing mixed results in data speed improvements over 3G or even 3.5G like AT&T and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ we can’t help blame consumers for their skepticism however, long term, we’re confident that 4G speeds will prevail over 3G and that carriers will ultimately provide a fair price for 4G service. In the meantime, it looks like the after the kinks are worked out, marketing departments will have their work cut out for them to change consumers’ perceptions about the value of 4G.
Will the Lack of 4G Hurt Apple iPhone Sales?
The answer to the question of whether or not the lack of 4G in the next iPhone will prevent consumers from buying one is “probably not” at least among current iPhone owners as 61% of iPhone owners say they don’t care if the new iPhone has 4G or not and will buy, or “consider” buying, the next iPhone regardless of 4G. That’s good news for Apple as rumors say not to expect an Apple 4G iPhone until 2012. The responses to this question also show Android owners as a loyal group with only 18% saying they would buy or consider buying a new iPhone, 4G or no 4G. On the other hand, BlackBerry owners look like potential defectors with 41% saying they’ll buy a new iPhone, or consider buying one with or without 4G.

So Much Confusion, Government May Step in and Require Providers to Explain Their Fees and Services

With all the confusion among consumers it’s no wonder that the federal government is considering legislation requiring carriers to clearly spell out the quality of services and fees associated with them. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has introduce a bill titled the "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act" which may force broadband service providers to tell consumers like it is in their ads and marketing materials.
Conclusion
As carriers deploy their 4G networks around the country which have the potential of increasing 3G 2 -3 Mbps to well over 10Mbps, it looks like there’s enough confusion and skepticism among consumers to keep the pace of adoption at a moderate rate. With so many potential customers expressing concern about price and performance and confusion over what exactly 4G means, providers of phones and services will have their work cut out for them to convince customers to upgrade to 4G.
About Retrevo Gadgetology Report
The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo.com. The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in June of 2011, by an independent panel. The sample size was over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level.
About Retrevo
Retrevo.com is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 100 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.
To contact Retrevo’s press department about this study, please email: press “at” retrevo “dot” com.

To download graphics for this article, Click Here.

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Great job!

Thanks man,.

Thanks man,.

Verizon 4G pricing split

Get ready because it is coming. Ask one of their representatives about it and they will clam up REAL fast. If you do not want to pay $50 minimum for 4G, stick with 3G. How fast does internet on a phone have to be?

Jumping to Conclusions

I think it's jumping to conclusions to say that all these people are "confused" about 4G, considering how the question was asked...

If you asked the same group of people "Are you planning on buying a flip phone this year?" and a percentage responded that they "already own one," would you then conclude that these people are confused about what "flip phone" means? Of course not.

Or if you asked "Are you planning on buying an Android phone this year?" and some iPhone users responded that they "already own one," does it mean all these users are idiots and think that their iPhones are Android-powered? Of course not.

The same logic could apply to just about anything. If you asked a bunch of Wii gamers if they planned on buying an HD game system this year, and some of them said that they "already own one," does it mean they're all misinformed about the Wii's specs? Some of them may be, but it's likely that a number of them actually do have an HD game system — just not the Wii.

Math

Hi Andrew,
Interesting, but hardly surprising. Just noticed your article states:
"Android owners as a loyal group with only 18% saying they would buy or consider"
In the accompanying graphic the numbers are 8% and 12%... Should this not be 20% or am I missing something?
Cheers.

"4G" is generic and means

"4G" is generic and means 4th generation. Were the people asked if their phone was 4G (iPhone 4 is a 4th generation phone), or if their phone is HSPA+ or LTE compatible (an iPhone 4 is NOT compatible)? Exactly how was the question asked?

With such reasoning, then

With such reasoning, then was the 3g the third generation? No.. it wasn't it was the 2nd iPhone, but carried the 3rd generation network (same as the 3GS and 4). 2G/3G/4G has NEVER been used to refer to generations of phones, since it is an ever developing market. And has only ever been used to describe network generation.

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The question is posted in

The question is posted in the graphic: "Are you planning on buying a 4G phone this year?" The percentage reported is of those who responded by saying they already own one. And I don't think there is any confusion as to 4G referring to the 4th generation of the NETWORK, implying increased speeds, not the 4th generation of the phone.

http://thefloridanewsjournal.com/2011/07/13/how-smart-are-smartphone-users

^provides a little more explanation

Actually the article You're

Actually the article You're referring to makes a mistake also. It claims, that "For Android users, 29% mistakenly believe their phone is 4G capable, as well.", but You can't actually say, that they are saying it wrong. There are 4G Android phones out there for quite some time already and so the answers may have already owned 4G phone.

In other word (at least) some of Android users didn't just BELIEVE they have 4G device, but they KNEW that they have one. :)

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It depends by how the

It depends by how the question is formulated. If they were asking about 4G connectivity then it would be implied about the network and not the phone; moreover, we don't see any data of what iPhone model these owner had, so the 'confusion' may not be (entirely) related to the 4 of the iPhone 4.

Yes, you're absolutely

Yes, you're absolutely right.

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