Aggrawal (2010) indicates that social factors refer to forces that other people exert and which affect consumers’ purchase decision; these include culture/subculture, social class and reference groups. Psychological Factors also influence purchase decision, they are internal to consumers and generate forces that influence consumers’ purchase decisions; these can include motives, perception, learning, attitude and personality; in addition, personal factors include things that are unique to a consumer and influence purchase decision; they include demographic factors, lifestyle, and situational factors. Macdonald and Sharp (2000) postulate that brand awareness has the ability to make a customer recognize and recall a brand in a giving situation and subsequently influence purchase decision, when consumers want to buy a product, and a brand name comes to their minds at once, it shows that product has higher brand awareness.
Corroboratively, Blackwell, Miniard, and Engel (2001) assert that it is important for customers to reach an awareness level of brands in order to increase the likelihood of making a positive purchase decision; this is because the product needs to be in the set of awareness before the consideration stage is being reached; It is believed that brands with a higher level of recognition would be more likely purchased than the ones with no recognition. According to Shimp (2010), there are four levels of brand awareness; the first level is brand unawareness, where customers do not recognize the brand and have no initial interest in the brand; the second level is brand recognition, this is when a customer is able to identify a brand without hints; the third level is brand recal which indicates a deeper level of brand awareness it is often the goal of marketers. Lastly, the fourth level is top of mind, this is the stage in which company’s brand is the first brand that consumers recall.
Delong, Bao, Wu, Chao, and Li (2004) posit that purchase decision is influenced by customers’ knowledge about a brand the brand image, this positions marketers to constructing the ideal brand that enhances the brands’ purchase. Brand image is consequently constructed through advertising, word of mouth, reference groups, celebrities, and media Mihalcea & Catoiu (2014). Furthermore, Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) state that creating a specific meaning of the brand through media, celebrities and reference groups encourage customers to deem themselves as a part of the same cultural environment as well as a certain social group thereby influencing purchase decision. Customers’ purchase decision could be described by different purchasing approaches, different customers have separate understanding of what constitutes purchase; purchase decisions are informed by consumers’ developmental patterns ranging from childhood to adulthood;
Purchase decision is also affected by customer consumption values, the consumption values explain why a customer chooses one brand over another, and the type of product that is more suitable and adaptable for consumers; purchase decision also depends on consumer approach to the product and what consumption values he or she possesses. According to Khanuja (2013), a smartphone is a mobile phone that is built on mobile operating system with an advanced computing capability and connectivity than an ordinary mobile phone. In the same vein, Shin, Lee, and Odom (2014) define smartphone as a combination of the cellular phone and the personal computer. Khanuja (2013) indicates that the first smartphone that integrated these capabilities was known as the personal digital assistant (PDA) with mobile phone features; later models included the functionality of media players, digital cameras, video cameras and GPS navigation system to form one multi-tasking gadget.
Nowadays, smartphones also include high resolution camera with touch screen, web browser, high speed data processing functionality, WiFi, mobile broadband backed by rapid of development of mobile applications which drive smartphone adoption. Corroboratively, Jordão (2010) asserts that the introduction of smartphones brought about the seamless integration of business and entertainment which was aimed at satisfying the huge demand for data exchange through ubiquitous, fast, wireless access devices. On the other hand, Vikström and Zheng (2013) view basic phones as devices that have no touch screen or internet connectivity and the usage is mainly phone calls and text messaging; feature phones are mobile devices that have varying support for touch screens, Wi-Fi, web browser and limited third party applications.; while smartphones are devices that have multi-touch screens with full browser/HTML support, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, GPS, accelerometer and an extensive range of third party applications available from an in-phone store.
Nagarkoti (2009) describes a Smartphone as a mobile phone, generally built with a mobile operating system that has more advance computing capability and connectivity than a feature phone. Smartphones now have high resolution big touch screens and web browsers that can display standard web pages with mobile optimized pages; a smartphone allows users to download and install third-party applications from application store; these are a collection of applications related users needs in terms of internet browsing, email, navigation, social media, music, news, games, finance, health and fitness, notes, calendar, weather forecast and so on; smartphones are developed with an operating system that allows installing applications; examples are Apple’s IOS, Microsoft’s Windows, Google’s Android and Nokia’s Symbian.
Soo (2015) indicates that mobile device market trend before the Smartphone era was dominated by Nokia brand for over 10 years through the adoption of cost effective strategy and efficient distribution channel structure all around the world, Nokia sold many cell phones ranging from high-end to low-end cell phones in large volumes. The advent of Smartphones in 2009 however brought about diverse changes to the mobile phone market; Smartphones such as the Nokia Symbian or Blackberry had existed in the mobile phone market but the iPhone was the first device with an easy and diversified applications and eco-system; Apple provided the hardware, operating system and diversified applications; consumers could utilize their mobile phones as personal computers with various applications such as the Safari web browser, E-mail, and navigations; this was notably made possible by Apple’s development of a digital platform to distribute mobile applications on iOS, allowing third parties to develop applications; Apple gave access to the App Store in July, 2008, and now has more than 1,400,000 applications in the app store (Soo, 2015). Apple through careful brand awareness and strategic branding has recorded tremendous sales and profits every year; in 2011, Samsung overtook Nokia in the mobile devices market, since then, feature phone sales have decreased rapidly while Smartphone sales started to increase at a rapid pace; the tradition