Looking ahead, Black Friday items include OLED screens and new iPhones
A majority of Gen Zers and millennials say they plan on shopping this year’s Black Friday sales, and many are looking for premium features like OLED screens and devices like the new iPhone 15.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. adults said they plan to purchase a new cellphone this holiday season, and of those, about 1 in 5 (18%) said they intend to spend upwards of $1,000. Apple recently announced a slew of new iPhone 15 models starting at $799, designed to appeal to different consumer segments. At the top of the category is Apple’s new iPhone 15 Pro, with premium features — such as an all-titanium enclosure — that match its premium price tag of at least $999. Spurred by recent E.U. regulations, the new models will also feature USB-C charging, a first for iPhone — and an attribute that 70% of consumers said is important to them when considering which phone to buy.
Recently, new phones featuring folding screens, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr+, have come onto the market in an effort by manufacturers to switch up the more “traditional” smartphone format. Samsung’s flip phone has done well in sales, particularly in Europe and Asia, a good indicator that this format is more than a gimmick for consumers. However, for now, only 27% of consumers said a folding screen is an important consideration for them when buying a new phone, well behind core features such as durability and battery life.
OLED is an important consideration in TVs and phones
Just behind phones, TVs are the second most anticipated electronics purchase this holiday season, with 1 in 5 consumers saying they intend to buy a new TV. New visual and audio technologies and smart-home integrations have transformed TVs from just a screen in a room to a hub for entertainment and home automation. In fact, 71% of consumers said smart device integration and capabilities are important to them when considering buying a new TV.
Just over half of U.S. adults (52%) said an OLED screen is important when considering which TV to buy, and a similar share (50%) said the same about phones. OLED is an even more important feature among people who consider themselves early tech adopters, with 68% saying this is an important feature in TVs and 67% saying the same about phones.
But like many technologies in relatively early stages of development, it isn’t without its trade-offs. OLED screens are prone to image retention, or “burn in,” if an image such as a logo or chyron remains on the screen for too long. Manufacturers such as LG and Samsung provide limited warranties to help abate some of these concerns, and 68% of consumers said such warranties are important to them when considering buying a new TV. In the near future, this may be less of an issue, as some of the world’s largest OLED panel manufacturers are adopting new manufacturing processes that reduce image retention risk.
This holiday season, retailers will likely be paying attention to whether consumer spending can maintain the pace set during the summer, when Amazon reported blowout numbers for its Prime Day sale. There are indications that consumers, particularly Gen Zers and millennials, may be more budget-conscious going into the fall, providing an opportunity for retailers to appeal to more value-driven consumers, as well as early tech adopters who are seeking premium features in their purchases.