Survey claims nearly half of consumers don’t care about 4G

by: Andrew GrushAugust 23, 2012
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How important is 4G LTE to you? In a new study by Piper Jaffray, nearly half of the consumers surveyed don’t actually feel it’s that important, believe it or not. For those with fairly basic needs, like checking Facebook or browsing a few web pages, I suppose that makes sense.

The true benefits of higher-speed Internet really don’t become all that visible until it comes to things like massive downloads, which many people do from their WiFi connections, in order to conserve data.

The survey also found that 51% of those responding didn’t care about which network they got their 4G LTE service from, so this means that there isn’t a clear favorite in terms of 4G LTE carrier.

Conducting a survey is all and good, but keep in mind that you only get a small picture of what is really going on. Piper Jaffray didn’t release information on how many were surveyed, nor the demographics. All we know is that they conducted this survey in order to see how important 4G was and whether Sprint’s weaker 4G presence should negatively affect it or not.

A good reason why 4G LTE might not matter to those reviewed is because they have never used it. Sure, there is advertising for 4G LTE, but you really don’t know how much better it is until you use it. Many consumers were fine with dial-up or slow-speed 128k DSL before they knew better, after all.

Now a different concern altogether would be whether Android enthusiasts consider mobile data speed. Android Authority readers: how important is 4G LTE to you?

  • Paul

    Hate it. Here in Canada, with my S3, it sucks the crap out of my battery, so I simply disabled it. Regular speeds work fine with what 99% of people use their phones for, uploading duck faces on twitter.

  • Alex13809

    Honestly It be a great feature except for two reasons. A) I’m in Canada so I’d have to bend over every month to pay Rogers or Bell for it. And B) all 4G phones out so far have had to be downgraded from a Quad-Core to a Dual-Core to work.

    • Shane

      Downgraded? Are you talking about the Tegra 3 vs the S4 phones? There’s no downgrading, just different chips. Overall performance between the two are nearly identical. Think of it as comparing an old eight cylinder engine to an advanced 4 cylinder. Same horsepower but achieved in different ways.

      • Alex13809

        also referring the the exynos vs S4. For the moment that more or less is true. Although the tegra 3 can obtain substantially better graphics than the S4. But at the moment Android and apps on it aren’t coded for more than 2 cores. But future version of Android will (or at least they better) take proper advantage of those extra 2 cores. The difference is in the long run, not so much the immediate present

  • Vyrlokar

    No 4g where I live (Spain), but I often switch to 2g to save battery when the phone is on stand by. If 3g radios suck the battery out of my phone, I can’t imagine what 4g radios will do.

    Also, I tether my phone to my tablet, and find 3g speeds vastly sufficient (2g, on the other hand, is not sufficient). Mind you, I have a 555 MB cap, so I don’t download huge files over 3g (anything requiring 4g speeds would put my over my cap). I use Opera to save bandwidth too.

  • raindog469

    I got a 4G (Wimax) phone a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve had a 4G signal for one weekend in Atlanta and Jacksonville while traveling. Whoopee, Yelp loaded 2 seconds faster.

    But I live, work and travel in areas where 2 bars of 3G is what you would call a great signal. At the hotel I stay at once a month, I have to put my phone on the windowsill to get a signal at all. At home, we got a femtocell for free because we just had no signal at all except when weather was perfect. And we live half a mile from an interstate. And it isn’t just Sprint. My girl was on Verizon when we moved in together and she couldn’t get a signal out of them either.

    Needless to say, we won’t be getting LTE here anytime soon. So I couldn’t care less whether or not my next phone is the 4G flavor of the year.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Survey also says nearly half of all consumers have never used it compared to 3g.

  • William

    Although my phone has 4g, I’m normally running on 3g where I live. I don’t get to a 4g area often for it to matter.

  • Survey with no vital info such as sample size is a joke.

  • Ranny Rainier Aquino

    For me 4G is not yet that important as its not yet “main stream.” There aren’t a lot of places that are covered with 4G signal. I’m sure once 4G becomes main stream, 4G technology in phones will mater.

  • I haven’t looked at the methods but this doesn’t surprise me. I came across an article that suggested that a 4G iPhone would be the most disruptive new feature on a phone to enter the market since the original iPhone, I was not impressed or convinced.

    3G came out to much fanfare all those years ago, but game changer it certainly wasn’t. I can see just an incremental upgrading of the networks and new phones too, that is all.

  • Its True.. 3G is enough for me.

  • This is definitely a case of people not knowing what they can do with it. I got to use Sprint’s Wimax last year with my first premium Android phone (Galaxy S2). Before that it was a crappy budget LG phone with a tiny 3.2″ screen running Froyo. I wanted a phone that had a better camera with LED flash. What I got was a mini-computer with TV on the go. Best use was at the football game when my bro on Verizon’s overloaded 3G network couldn’t send a Facebook update while I was streaming the pre-game show off my Slingbox at home on Wimax.

    LTE matters as soon as you enter video into the equation. Streaming video online and/or making video calls. But Verizon & AT&T customers will never know the joys of that tech because they’ll be throttled and overcharged for the service. It’ll only be “cool” to be on Sprint and T-Mobile.

    Forget about using the cool services in hotels. They’ve been so over-throttled with AT&T WiFi they are unusable these days. So if you want a meaningful broadband signal on the go, you’ll need LTE (and a spare battery/charger).