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Perceptual Maps of Smartphones

Executive Summary

Product positioning demands adequate knowledge of the market and customer behavior in regard to a product or service. Perceptual maps are crucial tools that provide important information about the perceptions of the consumers towards a particular product or service based on its attributes, values, consequences, or other aspects. This report provides perceptual maps based on a survey that sought to identify the perceptions of university students of five brands of smartphones including iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and Infinix. The perceptual maps are drawn based on a set of four attributes including price, computing power, design and screen size. The investigation used two-dimensional perceptual maps to identify the most influential factors that inform consumers’ perception of the respective brands. This investigation identified that the combination of price and computing abilities as well as design and computing abilities are the most influential factors that inform consumers’ perception of smartphones.

Table of Contents

1Executive Summary


3Methods and Analysis

4Attribute-based Dimension

6Price and Computing Power Dimensions

7Design and Computing Power Dimension




10Appendix 1: Perceptual map showing price — design dimensions

11Appendix 2: Perceptual map showing Price – Screen size Dimensions

12Appendix 3: Perceptual map showing Design – screen size dimensions

13Appendix 4: Perceptual map showing Price – Screen size Dimension

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Perceptual Price- Computing Power

Figure 1: Perceptual Price- Computing Power

Table 1: Average ratings for the brands per attribute


The demand for smartphones has increased tremendously in the last few decades. The demand has largely been sparked by the increased demand for internet services as well as user experience expectations. As a result, smartphone manufactures have introduced smartphones with varying attributes as a way of responding to consumer demands. The five major smartphone brands that are available in the market include iPhone, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and Infinix. A perception map enables a company to understand consumer perceptions about its products relative to competitor(s) products (Crane, 2006). This analysis sought to understand the most preferred smartphone brand among the five brands based on specific attributes.

The younger generation is more inclined to following the technological features of smartphones (Anderson & Rainie, 2012). The survey is carried out among students of University of Queensland. The investigation sought responses from five students on their perceptions about the five brands of smartphones. The investigation sought to come up with a perception map based on an attribute-based dimension. The investigation of the preference of a smartphone brand among students considered four main attributes namely; price, design, computing power, and screen size.

This evaluation is important for the company because it enables the manufactures to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their products relative to competition. A perception map is therefore essential as it provides companies with information on how the consumer perceives their product based on the unique attributes of the product. This enables to company to respond appropriately in regard to brand features as well as advertisement approaches based on the highlighted consumer perceptions (D’Aveni, 2007).

From this point, this report is organized as follows; part 2 presents the survey methodology and analysis. This is followed by discussion of findings and the implications after reviewing the outcomes of every two dimensions of the considered attributes. This includes the meaning of the findings in regard to relevant advertising strategies.

Methods and Analysis


This survey was basically an evaluation of consumer reviews of the five smartphone brands. As mentioned earlier, the evaluation was carried out by interviewing five students from the University of Queensland. The five students were selected randomly. Selection of students as the main target market segment was informed by the fact that the largest market segment for smartphones is young adults and middle aged adults. In addition, university students are considered to be more conversant with the unique features of different smartphone brands that most probably inform their preferences of a particular brand. The investigation was carried out in form of a survey utilising a face to face method where the interviewer sought responses from the students concerning their perceptions of the five smartphone brands.

Attribute-based Dimension

A past study on consumer behavior towards smartphone market in Malaysia identified that some of the attributes that inform consumer’s decision to purchase a preferred smartphone brand include design, computing power, price, screen size, ease of use, and built-in Wi-Fi adapters. Other important attributes include battery life, operating platform, and quality of customer support among other attributes (Azam, 2012). A similar study that was carried out in 2013 in the developing countries market reinforced these findings by identifying aspects such as price, quality after sales services, product features and brand name (Sata, 2013). Based on these studies, this investigation considered that identifying the perceptions of the consumers towards the smartphone brands using the attribute-based approach would provide the most comprehensive outcomes. The four attributes that were considered in these investigation included price, design, computing power, and screen size.

The rationale for selection of the four attributes was mainly informed by a preliminary research which identified significant differences of the five brands in regard to price, design, computing power as well as screen size.

The following question format was used to gauge consumer’s perception of the five smartphone brands.

To what degree do the following attributes describe the following smartphone brands [iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Infinix].

The survey required respondents to rate the four attributes on a five-point likert scale where a rating of 1 = lowest, and 5 = highest. All the five brands are rated on all the four attributes.

perceptual map  report

Each respondent’s ratings of the smartphone brands were filled in a matrix. The average ratings for the five respondents are as shown in Table 1below.

Table 1: Average ratings for the brands per attribute


Computing power

Screen size

Findings and Implications

The four attributes produced six possible combinations resulting to six two-dimensional perceptual maps. The combinations are;

  • Price-design,

  • Price-computing power,

  • Price- Screen size

  • Design – Computing power

  • Design – Screen size

  • Computing Power – screen size

Price and Computing Power Dimensions

One of the most important two dimensional perceptual maps is the map produced by the combination of price and computing power attributes. The perceptual map representing the two attributes is shown in Figure 1 below. It will be noted that the two dimensions are positively correlated. This means that consumers’ perception of price = perception of computing power of the respective brands. Nokia is perceived to be a low-cost, low computing power smartphones as compared to Apple’s iPhone and HTC which are perceived as a high-cost, high computing power smartphones. In regard to marketing and advertising, iPhone and HTC should be promoted as premium brands based in the consumers’ perception of the brands as high-cost and high computing power brands. On the other hand, marketing of Nokia and Samsung should target low income consumers who might not be seeking for mobile devices with high computing power.

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High Price

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High Computing Power

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Low price

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Low Price

Figure 1: Perceptual Price- Computing Power

Another important map is the map produced by the combination of design and computing power attributes. It will be observed that the two attributes are positively correlated. This means that a consumer’s perception of the design of the smartphone is in tandem with their perception of the computing power. The perceptual map representing this combination of attributes is illustrated in Figure 2 below. Again, iPhone and HTC brands are rated high in terms of an appealing design as well as computing capabilities. The perceptual maps representing the other combination of two dimension attributes is provided in the appendix section.

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High computing power

Design and Computing Power Dimension

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Simple design

Complex design

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Low computing power

Figure 1: Perceptual Price- Computing Power


One of the major factors that erode the confidence of the survey findings is the sample selection. It is probable that university students provided biased perceptions of the different smartphone brands because they are likely to be more interested in attributes such as computing power while other market segments may be more interested in other attributes such as battery life. Moreover,the sampling procedure that was used in this survey is likely to produce sampling bias. Sampling bias results when a sample does not adequately represent the characteristics of the population (Heckman, 1979). Another limiting factor is the sample size. It should be noted that a sample of five respondents cannot be said to be adequately representing the market. There is therefore a high likelihood that the findings are biased because the survey considered only a small segment of the market.


Anderson, J. & Rainie, L. (2012). Main findings; teens, technology, and human potential in 2020. Pew Research Centre. Retrieved September 17, 2016 from

2(1): 275-286 International Journal on New Computer Architecture and their Application. Vol. Azam, M. et al. (2012). A study of the Trend of Smartphone and its usage behavior in Malaysia.

Crane, F., (2006). Marketing. McGraw-Hill: Ryerson Limited.

D’ Aveni, R. (2007). Mapping your competitive position. Harvard Business Review. (November 2007). Retrieved September from

Heckman, J. (1979). Sample selection bias as a specification error. Econometrica, Vol. 47 (1). Retrieved September 16, 2016 from

Sata, M. (2013). Factors affecting consumer buying behavior of mobile phone devices. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 4(12): 103-112. Retrieved from


Appendix 1: Perceptual map showing price — design dimensions

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High Price

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Simple design

Sophisticated design

Low price

Appendix 2: Perceptual map showing Price – Screen size Dimensions

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Big Screen size

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Low Price

High price

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Small screen size

Appendix 3: Perceptual map showing Design – screen size dimensions

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Big Screen size

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Simple design

Sophisticated design

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Small screen size

Appendix 4: Perceptual map showing Price – Screen size Dimension

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Big Screen size

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Low computing power

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High computing power

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Small screen size