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Frost & Sullivan: With 90 Percent of US Population Owning a Smartphone by 2018, Consumers Require Broader Protection

Research finds comprehensive mobile protection should consist of mobile handset and data protection, as well as application and device support, in one integrated user experience

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The average smartphone user now consumes more than 2 gigabytes of mobile data every month and has more than 100 applications on his or her device. With smartphones emerging as the primary device for the consumption and creation of digital media, consumers are increasingly looking to protect, manage, optimize and enhance their mobile device experience. In order to address this market reality, leading carriers are moving from simply offering handset insurance to providing comprehensive, integrated mobile protection plans that include device insurance, data protection, and premium technical support.

New research from Frost & Sullivan's Next Generation of Handset Protection is Mobile Protection: From Handset Protection to Mobile Technology Support and Beyond market insight finds that more than 80 million mobile phone "incidents" occurred in the U.S. in 2013. This translates to approximately one in four users having their device lost, stolen or damaged. While protecting the device is important, consumers are also looking to protect their data and manage their mobile application experience. This research analyzes the forces driving the expansion of the traditional handset protection category and identifies the pillars of comprehensive "next generation" mobile protection.

The proliferation of higher priced smartphones and correlating mobile security threats led to a surge in the awareness and popularity of handset protection services. Frost & Sullivan research suggests consumers inherently expect ongoing support from their carrier for the full gamut of mobile device and support issues. Retail store and technical support representatives are challenged to provide the elevated assistance needed to address the more sophisticated, complex and multi-functional mobile devices and applications. One of the ways in which carriers can support the different mobile protection requirements is by implementing an ongoing support model that provides utility across the consumer's entire journey with their device.

"While handset protection helps consumers get a replacement device quickly in the event of device loss, theft, malfunction or damage, current market trends point to the need for advanced mobile protection solutions that offer more than just device replacement," said Frost & Sullivan Mobile and Wireless Global Research Director Brent Iadarola. "Our research indicates mobile handset protection, mobile data protection, mobile application support, and mobile device support are the four pillars of such next-generation mobile protection offerings."

Frost & Sullivan's research finds integrated mobile protection offerings provide significant value to carriers in the form of reduced churn, concessions, "no trouble found" (NTF)/remorse returns, enhanced average revenue per user (ARPU), and sales productivity. In fact, churn rates for customers that have no mobile protection, and have had a device incident such as loss or theft, or a data-related incident, demonstrate nearly two times the churn rates of customers that have an existing protection plan.

"We encourage carriers to conduct a detailed analysis of the various mobile protection vendors to select the right partner for their device protection programs," stated Iadarola. "In our view, selecting a partner that provides an end-to-end, integrated user experience that incorporates all components of mobile protection is a critical consideration for a carrier's success with next generation offerings."

Next Generation of Handset Protection is Mobile Protection: From Handset Protection to Mobile Technology Support and Beyond is part of the Mobile and Wireless Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes The Tablet Wars: The Race to the Bottom, Global Android Insight, and The Expansion of the Protection Category Provides Carriers with Significant Opportunities. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

www.frost.com

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