The Influence of Gender on Smartphone Adoption of Young Adults in Hungary: Extending the UTAUT2 With Brand Awareness

The Influence of Gender on Smartphone Adoption of Young Adults in Hungary: Extending the UTAUT2 With Brand Awareness

Maral Jamalova (Department of Economics and Management, Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC), Baku, Azerbaijan) and Milán Constantinovits (Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gödöllő, Hungary)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJEIS.2021070104
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Abstract

The authors were interested in identifying the influence of gender on smartphone adoption of Hungarian young adults. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the UTAUT2 and widened by the inclusion of a new variable: brand awareness. A survey was conducted among smartphone owners (students and alumni of Szent István University) aged between 16 and 35 using a nonprobability sampling technique. The results illustrate that from the UTAUT2 variables, only hedonic motivation and habit influenced behavioural intention, while at the same time brand awareness had direct influence only on actual smartphone use of Hungarian males. Apart from social influence, the relationships between indicators were significant in the case of females. The study increases the board of knowledge related to the formulation of behavioural intention, and it might be interesting for global smartphone manufacturers to understand factors influencing the actual smartphone usage in Hungary.
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1. Introduction

After the introduction of the iPhone to the global market in 2007, customer expectations towards smartphone design/aesthetics, operating system, etc. (Filieri & Lin, 2017; Ling & Pedersen, 2005) were changed. The product design offered by Apple became popular in a short time (Reid, 2018) and a lot of manufacturers (e.g. Samsung) began to follow it. The number of subscriptions, as well as smartphone penetration gradually increased since the beginning of 2008 (Reid, 2018). Statistical data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2018) showed that “Mobile-cellular telephone subscription” increased five times between 2001 and 2018. Moreover, the indicators for “Fixed-broadband subscriptions” and “Fixed-telephone subscriptions” decreased over the shown period. According to the report of the GSMA, more than five billion individuals had mobile phone subscriptions at the end of 2017 and the number is higher than owning any other high-tech device (GSMA, 2018).

The economic situation as well as development level (e.g. Classification of Word Bank) of the countries also influences handsets’ adoption rates (Jamalova & Constantinovits, 2020b). Statistical data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2018) showed that “Mobile-cellular telephone subscription” increased five times between 2001 and 2018. Moreover, the indicators for “Fixed-broadband subscriptions” and “Fixed-telephone subscriptions” decreased over the shown period. It means that individuals prefer handsets to landline phones globally. For example, in 2018 “Mobile-cellular telephone subscription” was estimated to be 107 per 100 inhabitants. So, each person at least has one mobile-cellular telephone subscription. Additionally, some individuals have more than one subscription.

According to information on Data Reportal (We Are Social & Hootsuite, 2019b), 100 inhabitants in Hungary owned on average 117 mobile subscriptions in January 2019 and 78% of the total population are mobile phone subscription owners. The percentage of individuals who have basic digital skills in Hungary is slightly lower than the EU digital skill average (Eurostat, 2020). The numbers (Eurostat, 2020) illustrate that there is no significant difference in the digital skills of males and females in Hungary. In general, 96% of Hungarian citizens have a mobile phone, however, only 65% of them are smartphone owners (We Are Social & Hootsuite, 2019b). Moreover, the affordability score of the handsets was 82 on a scale of 100; the number is considered as high enough in comparison with some other countries (We Are Social & Hootsuite, 2019b, 2019a). However, the population of Hungary is aging and it creates unfavorable conditions in the case of digital technology adoption (Makó, Illéssy, & Borbély, 2019).

The contributions of the study aimed to apply UTAUT2 for measuring smartphone adoption are threefold. Firstly, it is the pioneering survey considering respondents’ country of origin; there has not been any study analyzing the compliance of the UTAUT2 with Hungarian smartphone users. Secondly, previous studies have not involved brand awareness as an external variable in the smartphone adoption-related survey. However, the indicator has already had an influential role in several marketing-related studies (Filieri, Lin, D’Antone, & Chatzopoulou, 2019; Huang & Shih, 2017; Wu & Ho, 2014). Finally, the study enables to compare the decision of males and females as well as to define the influence of gender in the formulation of behavioural intention and user behavior. The paper might be useful for smartphone vendors represented in Hungary and increase their knowledge about important indicators affecting smartphone owners as well as the moderating effect of gender.

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