Forrester study: Got game? Not in a recession

Handheld video game players and satellite radios find less favor among North American consumers, while mobile and Internet services hold their own.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read

Internet and mobile services are expected to score against handheld video game players and satellite radio amid an economic recession, according to results from a Forrester Research survey released Monday.

According to the results, 51 percent of North America consumers surveyed said they planned to curtail technology spending in the coming year, due to the economy. And areas expected to take the greatest hit include handheld video game players, followed by satellite radio, smart phones, video game consoles, and portable GPS devices.

Forrester Research on consumer gadget spending
Forrester Research

The report noted:

While no device is immune from consumer spending cuts, new devices such as satellite radios and handheld video game players are the most likely to be left off the priority list - two thirds of consumers, regardless of their previous intentions, said that they are less likely to purchase these two devices in a recession, while a scant 3 percent said that they are more likely.

The survey, which took the pulse of more than 5,000 consumers in North America during November, found that high-definition TVs were more resilient, with only half of those surveyed saying they were less likely to purchase an HDTV in the coming year. And 7 percent of survey respondents even noted they were more likely to buy an HDTV, Forrester noted.

But Internet, as well as mobile, services fared far better.

According to the report:

An evaluation of purchase intentions can determine which products consumers see as essential and which they consider a luxury, mobile phone and Internet service, for instance, remain steady, while momentum for newer products such as personal navigation devices and satellite radio will slow.

Among Internet users, 83 percent of survey respondents noted they have no plans to change their service and 2 percent indicated plans to increase their service. As for mobile phone users, 70 percent said planned to keep the status quo, with 2 percent noting plans to increase their service, according to Forrester.

But all services are not created equal. Premium cable services and landline phone services, for example, were deemed less essential to survey respondents, with 14 percent of those users cumulatively noting they may cancel or reduce their service.