Survey finds battery life is most important for iPhone owners

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A new survey, reportedly taken from a sample of 50,000 smartphone users around the world, reveals the reasons consumers made the phone purchasing decisions they did.

According to IDC’s findings, battery life is the number one most important factor when it comes to choosing a smartphone — coming above ease of use, screen size, camera resolution, and touch screen. When asked, almost half of all iPhone owners quizzed named battery life as the main reason for their selecting the device.

After this, ease of use was the most widely given answer for why users had selected the iPhone, followed by the handset’s touch screen. Interestingly iPhone users showed least concern with the quality of their phone’s camera resolution — despite the fact that many of us now use the smartphone as our primary camera.

Another potentially revealing take-home is that the importance of screen size was the biggest difference between iPhone, Android and Windows Phone owners — with just 22% of iPhone owners listing it as their main priority, compared to 34% and 37% for Android and Windows Phone owners respectively.

Likely through an oversight on the part of the survey’s organizers, App Store selection is not listed as a factor.

As with any survey, don’t take this one as gospel. No iPhone owner I know, for example, would buy the phone based on its battery life (which, try as I might, always requires charging at least twice a day.) Regardless, it’s always fascinating to get a glimpse of why people make the buying decisions they do.

  • itpromike

    Yeah battery life is so important to iPhone users that Apple is making the iPhone 6 super thin instead of using the extra space for a bigger battery.

    • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

      Yeah, how insane is that. I’ve always believed that Apple is simply trying to save costs on materials to increase margins. I’m sure that extra aluminum costs add up when it comes to tens of millions of units. If Apple had built the iPhone 6 with the thickness of the iPhone 5, it would probably also weigh a fair amount more. I wish Apple would simply explain their design decisions so I could understand why they do what they do. I’m sure they must have a good reason although it’s not apparent to me.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Long battery life should be high up on anyone’s list of features for a smartphone. I’ll have to admit I don’t quite understand Apple’s desire to design the thinnest devices while users have to suffer shortened battery life. I’m curious as to what guidelines Apple is following to constantly build thinner iPhones. That is far too much form over function for my tastes. I know Apple does its own thing and I’ve never heard anyone saying that Apple should keep making the iPhone thinner. Fortunately, there are plenty of after-market battery packs for iPhones, so maybe it’s not all that important for Apple to satisfy users asking for greater battery life.

    I see they left out one of the most important factors of smartphone purchases. Purchase price. I’m sure a large number of Android smartphones are bought because of their lower price structure.

    • BarryDwight

      iPhone battery life has always been about 8-10hrs of usage, even with increasing thinness. Many other (not all) handhelds have been playing catch-up, which has been difficult due to phablet screen-sizes, bloatware, disparities between OSs, and inconsistent choices in manufacturers.. A lot of them have been caught falsely advertising anything much longer than 10-12hrs. The majority of users charge their phones over night and celebrate the fact that this what they’re comfortable with, so accommodating thinner hardware (wow-factor) is a bigger selling point than the user even realizes. Me personally, I don’t mind if it gets thinner, just not any lighter – that’s for the iPad Air to wrestle with. I want a phone to feel like a solid tool, not a cigarette packet against my ear.

      But you’re right about purchase price.

      • PMB01

        I get nearly 2 full days of battery life on my 5S with moderate usage. I don’t use Wi-FI because I get T-Mobile LTE pretty much everywhere I normally go and it’s faster than even my works’ blazing download speeds (30-50 vs 20Mbps)! Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon has been the best choice I’ve made in awhile!

    • PMB01

      I get almost 2 days of battery life on my 5S with moderate usage. I don’t use Wi-Fi because the T-Mobile LTE I nearly always have is always faster. T-Mobile’s coverage is so much more robust in my area than Verizon’s is so I always have a strong signal, which contributes to my awesome battery life.

  • Sam Doohickey

    What a bullsh!t survey! I suspect Microsoft commissioned it.

  • Sandeep Roy

    The fact remains evident in graphic – this is device & platform agnostic ! Battery life & other features have same ratio/weightage for considerations. Slow News Day ?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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