Do You Really Need A Smartphone?

Accenture research has produced a study which suggests that "a majority" of smartphone users are "dissatisfied with their mobile experience." They also suggest that this majority is prepared to "switch mobile providers." In the grand scheme of things, do these people really need to have a smartphone? Do you? What would your life be without a smartphone at your side, connected at all times? Would you be living the same life?

Do you own a smartphone?

The Accenture study mentioned above suggests that 80% of citizens that have web access and are age 14 and above around the world own smartphones. Of this same overall group of pollsters, 41% intent to purchase a smartphone in the next year, while 13% plan to "increase spending on smartphones, tablets, and laptops."

While a significant percentage of smart device users feel the urge to purchase a new device, only a tiny percentage actually want to increase the amount of cash they spend on that device – or the services within it.

We only want to exist in this world.

Does this mean we're only using smartphones because we feel the need to? This same survey suggests that 76% of the surveyed population think "quality brands will encourage them to purchase more products and services."

We're hooked.

But we're not happy

When you think about your smartphone and/or the mobile data service you pay to keep the device in mobile data on-the-go, do you have generally happy thoughts? This survey says 60% of respondents are ready to switch to a new provider due to poor mobile connections and viewing experience.

A whopping 83% of respondents in this study suggest that advertising interruptions when watching digital content (on their smartphones) are far too frequent.

A total of 47% of respondents say they're currently concerned about privacy and security on their smartphone.

So why continue?

According to Accenture, "The life of a screenager is characterized by intensity and immediacy. Their digital experiences need to be agile and real-time — smooth and safe. Nothing less will do."

A risky experiment

What if we take away the mobile connection, and – if only for a short while – re-focus on what (outside the mobile data) makes a smartphone great? What if the mobile smartphone turned back into a camera with a touchscreen, able to connect to the web only when Wi-fi was present?

What would the mobile data carriers do if every user decided to drop their data plans, instead only working with emergency (911) abilities on their device?

What would happen to your life if just YOU decided to disconnect your smartphone from the mobile web?

Would you be more satisfied with your smartphone? Would you appreciate the times when the internet was available?

Would you bask in the freedom of being disconnected when you're on the go? Or would you dash from Wi-fi connection to Wi-fi connection, like a chicken with its head cut off?

Would you accept your new reality?

Or, perhaps more importantly, would your friends and family accept that you're no longer connected to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

NOTE: The Accenture Digital Consumer Thought Leadership program (the survey bit we're speaking about above) was conducted between October and November of 2015, conducted online, and surveyed 28,000 consumers in 28 countries, including the United States, UK, and others around the world. Sampling included respondents ranging in age from 14 to 55 and over.