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Report: Consumers getting into smartphone habit

Thu, 10/08/2009 - 8:10am
Brian Santo

People are happier with their smartphones, and people with regular cell phones are less satisfied with them, possibly because they want smartphones. Among those who have a smartphone, there’s growing desire for Wi-Fi compatibility.

According to polling firm J.D. Power & Associates, the key factor in overall satisfaction is always how well it works. Other factors include physical design, features, battery function and operating system.

The survey results indicate that wireless carriers are discounting the price of smartphones to attract new customers who are willing to pay for the more costly service plans required.

The study finds that wireless carriers are offering deep discounts on traditional handsets, with 43 percent of traditional mobile phone owners, on average, reporting they received their handset free of charge. Satisfaction is significantly lower among owners who receive their handsets for free.

"Satisfaction is notably lower among owners who receive their handsets for free, because these phones often do not offer the full suite of features that owners desire," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power. "When fewer features are available, usage rates also decline, which translates into lower brand loyalty. Offering extensive features that owners can integrate into their daily lives may foster brand loyalty to both the phone manufacturer and wireless carrier, and ultimately result in a more rewarding and satisfying owner experience."

The report also confirms that both consumer and business customers love their Apple iPhones. LG and RIM BlackBerry also rank high. LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets.

The study revealed that among consumer smartphone owners, 22 percent want Wi-Fi capability in their next handset, while 21 percent want touchscreen capabilities, and 17 percent want GPS capability.

More than 40 percent of consumer smartphone owners report entirely replacing landline calling with mobile phone calling, while only 27 percent of traditional handset owners have done the same.

Among business smartphone owners, more than one-half report downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46 percent report downloading travel software such as maps and weather applications – indicating business users are also integrating their devices into their personal lives. In addition, nearly one-half of owners (46 percent) report downloading business utility applications to increase productivity.

More Broadband Direct 10/08/09:
•  J:Com 1st customer win for Netgear's new D3 gateway
•  FCC chairman warns of 'looming spectrum crisis'
•  De la Vega puts spotlight on competition
•  Cox's Hatfield takes over for Bowick on SCTE Foundation board
•  Cogeco selects Volicon's video monitoring system
•  Tellabs adds wireless net management tools
•  Report: Consumers getting into smartphone habit
•  Convergys lands $55M customer service contract
•  Broadband Briefs for 10/08/09

 

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