Majority of consumers agree technology has made life better and would be more likely to purchase new devices if offered value-added services

MELBOURNE, 13 October 2023 — Assurant (NYSE:AIZ), a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases, today reveals findings from its latest Connected Decade research. The research reveals the continued rise in the usage of connected devices, and an increased appetite for 5G devices.  

Assurant’s latest Connected Decade research explores Australian consumers’ attitudes towards connected devices during 2023 According to the research, almost 70% of Australians agree that internet-connected consumer technologies have made life better, increasing to 76% for Generation Z and 72% for Millennials. Smartphones top the list of most used Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-connected devices at 73%, followed by smart TVs at 55% and laptops at 53%.

Connected device usage is rising, partly due to the recent pandemic, and consumers’ growing optimism over 5G. However, inflation and the global living crisis are also affecting technology adoption. Consumers are more cautious in their spending, and the recent study shows:

  • 44% of consumers are likely to upgrade their smartphones in the coming year, increasing to 50% for Generation Z and 55% for Millennials.
  • Consumers are very likely to buy newer models of portable blue-tooth speakers (36%), desktop computers (32%), set-top streaming video device (32%), headphones (31%), and smart home speaker and voice controller (31%) when the latest versions are released.

“The increased device usage, adoption of more devices and interest in 5G illustrates the connected lifestyle and how indispensable smartphones are in our lives,” said Hemaka Perera, president, Assurant APAC. “However, the global economic downturn is seeing consumers retain their devices for longer, and this is an opportunity for service providers, retailers and carriers to build customer loyalty through support and protection solutions that give customers reassurance and peace of mind.” 

Assurant’s research also shows that consumer consciousness and the desire to be more sustainable are creating growing demand for refurbished devices. Amongst respondents, 35% of consumers were extremely or highly interested in buying a refurbished device, while approximately half of Generation Z and Millennials are very interested (55% and 45% respectively) in giving devices a second life.

“Sustainability is a shared responsibility and at Assurant, we ensure sustainable practices are integrated into the entire device lifecycle. Programmes such as trade-in and asset value recovery help everyone -- consumers, providers, manufacturers and the environment,” added Perera.   

The increase in technology adoption and device usage have also increased the demand for value-added services like tech support. Figures show 55% of consumers experience issues with the setup and installation of their connected appliances, especially around 

connecting new devices to the home Wi-Fi network or setting up a new smartphone. The study showed:

  • 44% of consumers are more likely to go ahead with the purchase of a connected device if it comes with the promise of further technical support after the sale.
  • 25% will buy a product if it comes with an extended warranty.
  • A further 20% will buy a product if trade-in is offered.

“As consumers embrace a more connected lifestyle, demand for additional services such as tech support is also rising. Australians find it important to be able to reach someone to help troubleshoot issues such as set up and connectivity. Furthermore, the more people use connected technology, the more value they place on device care. Repair and replace programmes give buyers peace of mind around their purchases and help ensure people can stay connected if something breaks down,” said Perera. “Not only does this present an opportunity to OEMs and retailers who can offer value-added services as part of the sales process, but doing so will improve upon the customer experience.”

Assurant’s Connected Decade research is an annual survey examining consumer attitudes around connected devices, homes and vehicles, and how those insights impact service providers, retailers and manufacturers. The report reflects responses from 1,000 owners of Wi-Fi and mobile devices in Australia with response data captured using web surveys in January 2023. The full report is available to download here.



About Assurant 

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases. A Fortune 500 company with a presence in 21 countries, Assurant supports the advancement of the connected world by partnering with the world’s leading brands to develop innovative solutions and to deliver an enhanced customer experience through mobile device solutions, extended service contracts, vehicle protection services, renters insurance, lender-placed insurance products and other products.  

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